We need a new town plan, now

Greece’s housing policy has proved to be a double flop. Over the previous years, the state authorities have failed to contain pressure from the swift urban sprawl and to halt illegal construction. Slack policing has only brought a surge in real estate prices while at the same time encouraging corruption among monitoring officials. As a result, Greece has the strictest policy for the environment – on paper that is. For in practice, unchecked construction has taken a heavy toll on the country’s forest areas. The only option left to the government is a rapid and well-studied expansion of the town plan that will ease housing pressures. Such a plan will prevent new buildings from springing up in forests and, at the same time, help meet Greece’s urgent social needs in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.