Greece is the only European country without a complete land registry. It will be completed by 2021 after 20 years of work and spent hundreds of millions of euros. The lack of a complete inventory of real estate ownership throughout the country is a major obstacle to investment, proper taxation and growth.
On Wednesday, the country opened the largest land registry office in Athens. This will serve the territory where almost half of the population of Greece lives. The government hoped that the new center would help speed up the process of compiling the national database. Athens residents will be able to register their assets in rural Greece without having to travel outside the capital. The new registry is an office complex of 3,000 square meters in the North of Athens. It was built for gymnastics competitions at the 2004 Olympic games in Athens. Employees of the new center and small offices outside the capital are seeking to create a single electronic database. It will cover the whole country by 2021. This period was agreed with foreign creditors of Greece.
The completion of the project was a condition of each of the three assistance programs for Greece. The last of which expired last August.
“Preparation for the completion of the inventory of land is now in full swing. We hope that it will be completed by 2021.”said the project Manager of the new office Aria Ionnidi to Reuters. Two more years to go. The progress of the project was confirmed. It was launched in 1998 by the socialist government of the then Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
In 2010, Athens has applied for the first international assistance. Greece and Albania were the only countries of Europe where there was no computerized register of ownership rights to land and its use. Since then, Albania has put the register into effect, and Greece still can not do it. In Greece, about 30 percent of the registered documents confirming the legal status. Registration of documents took place in electronic form. The difficulty of the registration process is due to the lack of offices and infrastructure.
Some Greeks believe that without pressure from international creditors, their country would not have made such progress. “If we didn’t have the Troika [of creditors] to put pressure on us, it would take us another 10 years to finish it,” the official involved in the project told Reuters.
More than 3,000 people have already registered for the registration of assets in the new register of Athens.