Draft law on fire-ravaged regions
Athens News, 30 October 2009

Environment Minister Tina Birbili has unveiled a draft law seeking to prevent unauthorised development of eastern Attica areas damaged by fires in August. The law, announced on October 26, abolishes what the government calls "forest-killing" regulations and creates the infrastructure (forestry maps and a forest registry) meant to protect ecosystems and state-owned land.

The primary measures to be introduced by the proposed bill include a temporary suspension of all construction work in the affected areas, even where building has been allowed so far, and sees to the establishment of a three-member committee in charge of demolitions of unlicensed construction.

The draft law also provides for the inclusion of all hitherto unregistered fire-ravaged land into the land registry and suspends the current legal differentiation between a "forest" and a "forested area".

The suspension will last until forestland maps have been finalised.

Exempted from this ban are legally built structures and those with legitimate building licences issued before the fires.