Building permits issued online in test phase

Greece has started issuing building permits online in a process aimed at speeding up the procedure and cutting down on red tape and corruption.

The online process, currently running on a test basis, started on Monday and is expected to be fully operational by the middle of October.

It is being managed by the the Technical Chamber of Greece.

"The whole process is being simplified and sped up. It will be done electronically, with complete transparency, without contact with the government departments involved and with continued checks," said Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

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Industry officials have welcomed the move, describing the new procedure as being simpler and cheaper than the previous way of securing a building permit for dwellings.