NEWS

State rapped over slow expropriation payouts

The Ombudsman yesterday urged the government to set up a proper system for compensating citizens when they had property expropriated by the state, after revealing that hundreds of people had complained about not receiving money, in cases stretching back as long as 70 years. The independent body said that, between 1998 and 2004, more than 400 people filed complaints claiming their property had been taken over by the state and they had not received any compensation in return. The worst offenders, according to the Ombudsman’s figures, were municipalities, which were responsible for more than half of the cases, followed by the Culture Ministry, which was the focus of almost a third of the complaints. Land and buildings are often bought out by the state to enable the construction of public works projects or for the excavation of archaeological finds.