Greece to loosen penalties on illegally built homes

Greece will give owners of illegally built homes more time to pay fines and reduce these penalties, said Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis Monday.

Many homes in Greece were not fully declared to authorities when they were built, meaning that parts of the dwelling are illegal and bring with it steep fines.

As part of an effort by the Greek government to get home owners to fully declare assets and up state revenues, the country has been gradually tightening the rules on these properties, forcing home owners to pay for rules broken in the past.

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Stathakis said the draft bill will be submitted to parliament soon and will give property owners more time to pay fines. Penalties will also be lowered depending on the building's energy efficiency and the age of the dwelling, added the minister.