Land register set for initial entries in June

The process that should lead to some 3 million Greeks declaring their properties so they can be entered on the country’s first comprehensive land register is due to begin in less than a month’s time, it was announced yesterday. Public Works and Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias said that people who own property in 107 areas, including dozens of municipalities of Attica, should begin submitting paperwork from June 17 so they can be entered on the registry. The deadline for people living in Greece to hand in the necessary documents will be September 30, while those living abroad who own properties in these areas have until December 30 to act. «This is a really ambitious program with which we plan to record 6.7 million title deeds in less than four years and introduce some 310,00 hectares of land onto the registry,» said Souflias. It is though that two in three adults living in Greece will have to go through the process of registering their property so a help line (1015) will be set up to assist those with queries. Property owners will be able to visit one of 76 land registry offices to submit their paperwork or can fill in the forms online at the registry’s website, which is It will cost applicants 35 euros to register each property and another 20 euros for any other facilities, such as separate storage rooms or parking bays. Souflias pleaded with property owners, who will need a photocopy of their title deeds, to be prompt with their applications. «Regardless of how well we have prepared, if everyone waits until the last minute, there will be a lot of problems,» he said. Those not submitting their paperwork in time could face fines of up to 1,500 euros. Despite several attempts and millions spent in the past, efforts to create a proper land registry in Greece have foundered. Meanwhile, Souflias indicated yesterday that he would bow to pressure to change some aspects of his land-zoning bill, which was up for discussion in Parliament over the last few days. Souflias told MPs that he would remove an article from the draft law which would allow the legislation it imposes to be bypassed if there are major investments at stake. The minister accepted that the article could act as a «back door» to unchecked development. Souflias said that he was open to further changes to the bill and invited opposition deputies to submit suggestions to his ministry by Tuesday.