Govt promises automatic prosecution for threats, disorderly behavior against notaries overseeing property auctions

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 19:55

The government on Wednesday promised to stiffen the law in Greece to allow the proprio motu (via law enforcement's own motion) prosecution of individuals on charges of threatening and disorderly behavior against notaries overseeing auctions.

The pledge comes after a same-day meeting between relevant ministers with the leaderships of notaries in the greater Athens area, and in the wake a decision by the latter to abstain from auctions of foreclosed property until the end of the year.

Currently, in most instances, a threatened notary would have to file a criminal complaint for a case to be led to trial.

Additionally, the state promised stepped up security at local (eirinodikia) courts, where most auctions are held on Wednesday.

Auctions of foreclosed property in Greece have been blocked for months after a previous moratorium was lifted. Protesters often show up at courts or at private notary offices, while at other times notaries' associations call on members to abstain from any auctions.

Over recent weeks, upscale properties and commercial real estate controlled by individuals or companies with millions of euros in arrears to banks and the state have avoided the auction block after auctions were prevented.

A ballooning figure associated with non-performing loans (NPLs) in the country has generated repeated warnings by creditors and local creditors over the problem.

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