No transfer of Greek monuments or sites to Public Properties Company, HCAP says

No Greek archaeological monuments or other protected sites will be transferred to the Public Properties Company SA, according to an announcement issued by the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations (HCAP) – the so-called privatisations ‘superfund’ – on Saturday.

Responding to press reports claiming that archaeological sites, museums, monuments and other protected properties were included in a list of 10,119 assets transferred to HCAP in June, the ‘superfund’ underlined that no property exempted from development under the law would be transferred while noting that all the items on the list would be rechecked.

“It is crystal clear that there is no transfer, nor could there be any transfer, of archaeological monuments or real estate such as coastal areas, beaches, Natura areas, forests and other categories that are exempt from any transactions, as the relevant finance ministry announcement said. The law 4389/2016 expressly and without reservations makes exceptions for such properties,” it said.

It noted that an initial list had been drawn up based on the information available on the National Land Registry data base but because this was often partial or not fully updated, this was strictly conditional on doing all necessary rechecks to ascertain which of the properties can be transferred and which cannot.

As stated in the government gazette, HCAP added, such checks would be carried out for all the properties on the list, with the involvement of all the relevant agencies (forestry service, antiquities ephorates etc) in each case.

“The archaeological monuments of our country are the cultural heritage of the Greeks and the next generations and there is no question of any concession. The exception under the law is clear and must not be misinterpreted,” it said.

Based on the results of the rechecks, it said, the information in the land registry will be updated in order to create a full and accurate record of state property, while the creation of the list benefited Greek society rather than the contrary.

“For the real estate that clearly and certifiably does not fall under the exceptions, a precise record will add value since, today, many properties are losing value or illegally occupied or remain entirely unused. Their exploitation will be carried out in the framework of a careful strategy to create value for the national economy and local communities,” the announcement concluded.