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Thursday, 02 August 2018 01:00

Greek government to demolish illegally built structures in the aftermath of deadly wildfire

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
Greek government to demolish illegally built structures in the aftermath of deadly wildfire Greek government to demolish illegally built structures in the aftermath of deadly wildfire

At least 3,150 illegally built structures in the wider area of Athens will be demolished after the fatal wildfires in June 23, according to Greek government.

In most cases, these houses are used for summer estivation and not for permanant accommodation as they are close to the seaside. They were built and survived all these years with the tolerance of previous Greek governments but, as usually, disaster should come first to take action. The buildings lack of the necessary licenses and zoning permits and do not comply with city's planning codes. All types of structures, ranging from small prefabricated units to luxury houses with pools built directly on the coastline dot much of Greece's landscape.

Of course, the structures are not to blame for the wildfire itself as strong winds made the firefighting impossible. Nevertheless, their lawless conformation and their remote and hazardous location (next or beneath the trees) along with insufficient evacuation plan resulted in fatalities as hundreds of people were trapped in the flames, smoke and confusion during the incident. Environmental groups said the fire was the deadliest in the country's history and the worst in Europe since 1900, scorching 17,000 acres of forestland and residential areas. More than 1,000 burned buildings inspected by engineers after the wildfire must also be demolished. 

According to the government's spokeman Tzanakopoulos Dimitris, a new draft will be presented on August 3, 2018 to accelerate streamline bureaucratic procedures (a major issue in Greece that decelerates all kind of processes) in order to demolish such structures. When asked, he stated that the demolitions will begin immediately. Similar orders of a smaller nature in the past, especially on Athens beachfront where unlawful restaurants (tavernas) and beach businesses thrive, were never carried out. People hope that under these tragic circumstances, the decisions will finally be implemented.

Sources: Thenationalherald.comNaftemporiki.gr

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