The procedures for the construction and operation of the Cremation Center in Thessaloniki are proceeding as planned despite the bureaucratic hurdles. Mayor Yannis Boutaris said on Wednesday, he was optimistic that the first cremations could be conducted in the first half of 2019.
While still several permission are to be obtained, Boutaris said he expects the paperwork to have been concluded by summer this year.
As soon as the decision for the operation of the Cremation Center is published in the official gazette it will a matter of a short time to start.
“I believe the first cremations will start in the first half of 2019,” the mayor said during the visit in the cemeteries area.
Cremations were legalize din Greece in 2006. Twelve years later not a single cremation center has been completed as local authorities willing to allow such a center in their areas had first of all to struggle against objections by the Church of Greece primarily for religious-ethical reasons.
The traditional burials in cemeteries are also good revenues source for municipalities, local churches and a whole industry of funeral services.
Apart from Thessaloniki, another center is to be built in Athens and in Patras, West Peloponnese.
Under the current situation the bodies of those who have chosen cremation are been transported to neighboring Bulgaria. The cost is estimated at 10,000 euros.
When cremation centers start operations in Greece, the cost has been estimated to be around 500-600 euros without additional expenses for grave maintenance on annual basis, exhumation and other costs.