NEWS

Half of all seized land is used for town planning

The office of the Citizens’ Ombudsman has issued a special report on various aspects of protecting private property, as well as violations by administrative officials. It found the most serious problems occurring in Attica and Central Macedonia, in the major urban conglomerations where there is heavy competition for construction space. The administrative bodies involved range the entire spectrum of state services – municipalities, prefectures, the Culture Ministry and the services it supervises, the Environment and Public Works Ministry and a number of other services, such as the Public Power Corporation, the metro, port authorities and the army. Half of all expropriations are made for town-planning purposes, 34 percent for cultural purposes and 9 percent for public works construction. Problems include: – Long delays in the declaration of the expropriation process and in the payment of compensation. – Properties are tied up for long periods even before the official declaration of the expropriation process. The problem is particularly acute with properties destined for use as schools, hospitals and other public buildings, but also at sites of archaeological interest. – Owners are temporarily or permanently deprived of the use of their property without any payment of compensation amounts. The problem is particularly acute when properties are tied up for long periods of time.