NEWS

Land register drive hits trouble

Greece’s efforts to create its first comprehensive land registry look set to get off to an inauspicious start as employees at property records offices in Athens and Piraeus said yesterday that they will go on a 24-hour strike on Tuesday, when the process is meant to begin. The employees said that their workload is set to treble once the registration starts and the necessary steps have not been taken to account for the extra influx. «The state has not prepared for the creation of a land registry,» said the president of the employees union, Giorgos Diamantis. «The impression is that there are only 700,000 title deeds that need to be registered in Athens but there are more than 1.5 million.» The property record office in Piraeus is known to have a substantial backlog of work. Some 3 million Greeks are expected to take part in the process, which was due to begin next week. The company that is responsible for organizing the land registry, Ktimatologio SA, insisted yesterday that people who own property in 107 areas, including dozens of municipalities of Attica, should begin submitting thier paperwork from Tuesday 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. 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 www.ktimatologio.gr. 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. Despite several attempts and millions spent in the past, efforts to create a proper land registry in Greece have foundered.