Illegal dwellings demolished

Municipal authorities in Keratea, eastern Attica, knocked down around 40 illegally built dwellings on its beach area earlier this week and vowed to continue fighting against the large number of illegal homes in the region. Keratea Mayor Stavros Iatrou told Kathimerini that the «shacks» were torn down in the Haraka district after the all clear had been given by relevant authorities. «The demolition process was completed by machines belonging to the municipality and by volunteers who offered their services to help get rid of this ugly sight,» he said. The construction of illegal buildings, ranging from hastily built shacks to luxury holiday homes, without a permit is a problem that arises in many parts of Greece due to the lack of proper land zoning and legal loopholes. Keratea is home to the largest number of illegally built homes in Attica with some 16,000 dwellings considered to be without any permits – about 8,000 have been built after 1983. Those involved in the illegal construction of buildings hope to obtain legal rights over the land they have taken over with time. Politicians are reluctant to move in and order these homes to be knocked down, fearing the political cost even after the relevant authorities have given the all clear. Municipal authorities have the responsibility of tearing down the illegally built buildings in their area but often cite lack of staff or the necessary equipment needed to demolish them.

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