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15 June, 2024
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Parliament passes law to remove property restrictions in Occupied Areas

Property owners in Occupied Areas to benefit as Parliament axes ''Memorandum'' rights


In a unanimous decision, the Plenary Session of the Greek Parliament passed a law abolishing the right of encumbrance of ''memorandum'' on properties held by banks and credit acquisition companies, located in the occupied territories. The proposal was put forward by the DISY Member of Parliament, Nikos Georgiou.

According to the approved proposal, the sale through execution procedure, the registration of a judicial decision in the provincial land registry office, and the extension of existing registration in the provincial land registry office concerning property owned by a debtor under a judicial decision, which is located in areas not controlled by the Republic, are not possible. Such registration renders the property a guarantee for debt repayment.

In his statement, DISY MP Nikos Georgiou argued that the law removes an injustice not only against refugees but also against indigenous people with property in the occupied territories, who face enormous financial difficulties. He noted that for years, neither the Central Bank issued directives nor did the Association of Banks provide guidance on the issue of "memorandum" registration on occupied properties, resulting in each bank and lending company following a separate policy, depending on profit margins.

Furthermore, he highlighted that this encumbrance on properties in the occupied territories did not allow them to be mortgaged for financial support purposes by the Central Body for the Equal Distribution of Burdens. Consequently, banks leverage the lifting of the "Memorandum" as a pressure lever and demand immediate payment for its removal.

Diko MP Christos Orphanides stated that what is happening today is a blatant injustice against displaced persons. He further stated that guarantors of borrowers who do not meet their obligations are called upon to repay the loan, and in cases where they cannot, banks and credit acquisition companies proceed with "memorandum" on their properties in the occupied territories.

AKEL MP Aristos Damianou welcomed the proposed law, stating that while what banks and other loan managers have been doing for so long may have been legal, it was not ethical, and with the passed law, it will no longer be legal. He also expressed confidence that the implementing bodies will ensure its application for the benefit of citizens and refugees.

[With information sourced from CNA]

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