Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias yesterday blamed delays at a town-planning office and the incorrect information he received from a civil engineer for the fact that his out-of-town house was being built without the proper permit. Souflias said that he was not aware that the permit had not been issued even though plans for one property, rather than two, to be built on his land near Anavyssos, southeast of Athens, had essentially been approved. The minister said that the amended plans were submitted to the Markopoulo town-planning office 32 months ago but officials had not yet issued the permit. Souflias also placed a large part of the blame on Nikos Metaxas, the civil engineer that he hired for the construction project. «Mr Metaxas has great responsibility for his actions but also because he did not inform me of the inexplicable delay at the town-planning office,» said the minister. The Eastern Attica Prefecture confirmed in a statement that the town-planning office had not issued the permit in the time it was legally required to do so.