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Greece suspends demolitions on beaches, lake-sides citing “Covid-19 complications”

In a setback to a program that began last year, an amendment tabled in Parliament this week provides for the suspension of demolitions of illegal constructions in coastal zones, on lakesides and river banks until October 31, citing “complications created by Covid-19.”

The demolition program, bankrolled by the Green Fund, was touted as the state’s response to the legalization of arbitrary structures over the last decade.

According to a recent law passed by the Environment Ministry, after pressure from the hotel industry, it is only possible to legalize hotels built by the state or the National Tourism Organization, while other public sector bodies can legalize constructions under strict conditions.

However, the proposed suspensions in the amendment, signed by Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and included in a bill of the Development Ministry, concern all illegal constructions, mainly hotels, tavernas and beach bars.

All the demolition orders affected by the government’s amendment have already been finalized in court. [kathimerini]

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