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First cremation facility in Greece opens in Ritsona, East Attica

A historic moment for Greece: the first cremation facility in Greece has started its operation a couple of days ago in East Attica, 75 km away from Greek capital Athens. The facility is private.

Board member of the Ritsona Incinerator and president of the Greek Cremation Society, Antonis Alakiotis, said on Thursday that the crematorium started its operation on September 30.

He described the facility operation as a “historic moment,” stressing that Greece is the last country in the world to acquire such infrastructure.

He said that the cost for families who intend to incinerate their deceased beloved one is significantly reduced, when compared to the cost of at least 2,500-3,000 for the transport and incineration in neighboring Bulgaria.

The cost for the incineration is at 600 euros plus the cost for the funeral office, Alakiotis said.

Explaining the procedures, he added that families must take to incineration a forensic certificate that no investigation is required. This certificate is not necessary for burials.

The private facility, apart from the two crematoriums includes also a lounge area for relatives, a shop where urns can be purchased, a refreshment bar.

The facility reportedly obtained its license in July 2018.

The effort to build a crematorium in Greece began in 1996, and the current law was adopted 13 years ago. Since then, a series of amendments has been needed to allow the construction of a private incinerator. The legislation provides for periodic controls by the Region for environmental impacts.

It is estimated that 1,000 deceased were cremated in Bulgaria every year.

the public facilities in Thessaloniki, Patras and Athens have not been completed yet.

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