Cadaster to absorb land register offices

The Environment Ministry included a clause in the multi-bill tabled in Parliament on Tuesday for the creation of a new public entity named "Hellenic Cadaster" (instead of the original proposal, "National Cadaster Corporation") at a time when construction activity in Greece mostly comprises fencing around plots rather than any actual building.

The new entity will absorb the National Cadaster and Mapping Agency and the land registers. Its structure will consist of a central agency, 17 regional offices and 75 branches across the country, and the transition from the current system is projected to take place within two years.

The draft clause to that effect was put up for consultation in mid-December, and reached Parliament yesterday. The country's creditors have been demanding the creation of the new entity for the last two years, ahead of the completion of the land register and the forest maps by 2020.

The new corporation will be monitored by the Environment Ministry and will be the heir to the National Cadaster and Mapping Agency both in cadastral surveying and the recording and maintenance of ownership rights in the country.

The absorption of the country's 357 land register offices will take place gradually: The first 60 will be abolished this year and the rest by the end of 2019.

The Hellenic Cadaster will be directed by a seven-member governing board (with three members appointed by the justice minister) and will be self-financed.

This comes during a period when Greeks appear eager to fence around their plots instead of building on them. The 8.6 percent annual increase in building permits in the first nine months of 2017 is not so much the result of new construction but rather due to people fencing around plots which also qualifies as construction activity as the president of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), Giorgos Stasinos, recently explained.

The reason behind Greeks' apparent enthusiasm for fencing off their assets is the publication of the forest maps.