Technical chamber calls on homeowners to ignore law
Athens News, 28 August 2009

The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), a professional body advising the government on engineering and technical matters, on Tuesday said that homeowners should ignore a recent law that allows them to protect properties that have been illegally altered from any further penalties.

The chambers vice president, Christos Spirtzis, said he expected dozens of homeowners to appeal against the legislation, passed through Parliament earlier this summer. Spirtzis said that only 10 people had applied to pay the fee so far.

According to the law, the payment would ensure that areas of homes originally planned as balconies but subsequently turned into closed rooms (known as "imiypaithrioi" -"semi-open" in Greek) are no longer subject to penalties or the threat of demolition.

On Monday, Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes said that these homes could be bought and sold without obstruction.

Tentes had been asked by the notaries’ union to give his expert legal opinion amid concerns that these illegally altered areas would be officially recognized once the penalty is paid but they would not be made legal, meaning that they could not be recognized as being part of a home when the property is bought or sold.