A draft bill aimed at creating for the first time a land register for the country’s coastal areas foresees the expropriation of land located within these zones within five years. The draft legislation, unveiled yesterday by Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas, heralds the creation of a comprehensive register of all plots on Greek coastal land and the expropriation of those deemed to have been built illegally. Owners of land deemed to have been purchased illegally will have their plots expropriated and will be compensated at the state’s standard expropriation rate, which is significantly lower than commercial rates. The draft legislation also contains a provision detailing the conditions and prices for the commercial development of plots of coastal land deemed to be legal. These plots should be destined for the use of bathers or for public recreation, according to the bill, which also sets a limit of 500 square meters on each of these plots. «The matter of our coastlines and seashores is complex but a responsible state has the obligation to tackle and solve it,» Doukas said. «It is clear that there are different viewpoints about such reforms but we need to find solutions,» he said. Doukas added that the government hopes to have completed the register within five years – an ambitious goal if one considers that it took Greece more than a decade to draft legislation for a regular land register. Greece and Albania are the only European countries to lack a complete land register.