Former minister’s wife must pay fine

The wife of former Employment Minister Vassilis Magginas has been fined 165,000 euros for violating building regulations in an incident that cost Magginas his job earlier this month. Magginas, who spearheaded controversial social security reforms as a minister with the conservative government, stepped down after reports he illegally built a luxurious home in a forest area in Koropi, northeast Athens. The town planning office confirmed the reports yesterday and said the home, which was in name of Magginas’s wife Katerina Papadaki, was illegal, as only a permit for a snack bar had been issued. «The person affected (Magginas) has the right to appeal within 30 days and after that the law regarding illegal buildings applies,» Eastern Attica Prefect Leonidas Kouris told Kathimerini. According to the law, once the building has been declared illegal, authorities must demolish it unless it is used according to its original license. Greece is littered with thousands of illegally constructed homes as builders take advantage of poor law enforcement by authorities and legal loopholes. Magginas had responded to the reports by denying that there was anything illegal about the house and insisted that his construction permit was completely legal. Magginas has been replaced at the helm of the Employment Ministry by Fani Palli-Petralia.