Spot a suspicious home? Report it, says the Greek govt

Spot a suspicious home? Report it, says the Greek govt

Greece will launch next year an electronic system allowing people to report illegal buildings as part of a crackdown on chaotic urban planning that is being blamed for last month's deadly wildfires.

Τhe move comes after Greek lawmakers passed last week a law giving the government the ability to demolish illegal buildings in a fast track procedure. Officials say they have identified the first 61 dwellings to be knocked down, many of them in the area of Mati where the fires took place, as part of an initial list of 2,500 homes that have been earmarked for demolition.

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Energy and Environment Minister George Stathakis and the head of Greece's Technical Chamber of Commerce, Giorgos Stasinos, decided on Monday that the new system will allow people to provide any information they have on illegally built dwellings to authorities after paying a fee, the Environment Ministry said in a statement.

The system will be run by the Constructions Observatory that is being set up by the country's regional authorities.

Inspectors will then take a look at the building that has been reported and if it has been built without the right permits, they will impose fines that will then be collected by tax authorities. The fee paid by the person making the initial report will be returned, in the event that authorities confirm the building in question was illegal.