19 Jan 2015, Legal, by Athina Ledaki, Lawyer/Accredited Mediator (CEDR)
A. Border Areas
The Greek state since 1990 has introduced by law the prohibition to natural or legal persons to acquire any rights on properties located in the country's border areas. In order to carry out such property transfers the law demanded that a file is submitted by the prospective buyer to a special committee of the Ministry of Defence, which advised positively or negatively and finally allowed or not allowed the signing of the final contract. The majority of these decisions were positive but the interest of the buyers in buying the property gradually weakened since they were obliged to wait for about a year for the answer of the committee.
The Law 3978/2011, as amended by the Law 4278/2014 changed the status in real estate transfer in border areas.
- First of all, border areas are now considered the former regionsof Dodecanese, Evros, Thesprotia, Kastoria, Kilkis, Lesvos, Xanthi, Preveza, Rodopi, Samos, Chios and Florina, the islands of Thira and Skyros, the former countiesof Nevrokopi, Pogoni, Konitsa, Almopia, Edessa, Sintiki and the former villages of Othoni, Mathraki and Erikoussa. The regions of Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki, the four regions of Crete (Chania, Rethymno, Iraklio, Ag.Nikolaos), Corfu, Kefalonia, Grevena, Kozani, Imathia, Pieria and Kavala were excluded from the list of the border areas.
- Furthermore, the list of the persons for which the prohibition of acquiring property rights in border areas doesn't apply was expanded. In particular, natural or legal persons with Greek citizenship, natural or legal persons with nationality or headquarters of the European Union or of the countries of the European Free Trade Association (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) may acquire property rights in these areas. So as far as these persons are concerned no restrictions are applicable.
- The restrictions still refer exclusively to natural or legal persons of third countries, and can be lifted by applying to the local administration of theregion and not to the Ministry of Defence as the previous law demanded.
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