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If You Thought British Property Developers Were Evil

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I live in the area affected over the last few days. More than that, I live in an 'illegal house'. Here's the thing: to buy a building plot in this area large enough to legally build a family house will cost between 450,000-1,000,000 euros. Add to that the cost of building a house 1000 euros a square meter and you have some idea of the problem.

Needless to say, there are about 100,000 illegal properties in the region. And, although these houses are illegal, they still are supplied with services and subject to local taxes. Many, including our own, have been standing 20-30 years.

Local and even central government officials are often involved in 'legalising' land for developers, for a hefty fee in a brown envelope of course. What can you do? Senior politicans are frequently caught floughting planning laws without consequence.

Still, this time, half of Greece's millionaires found themselves running from the flames around their villas. Somewhat ironic I think.

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