- Holiday Homes: Legal Framework and Reality; The Case Study of Asprovalta, Greece    click here to open paper content27 kb
by    Makrakis-Karachalios, Chrysostomos & Alexandropoulou, Aimilia | chrisosm@hotmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
It deals with the topic of vacation houses in Greece, the legal framework, the dominant pattern of unplanned settlements, the reasons that caused it and its consequences
Abstract
This thesis deals with the topic of vacation houses in Greece. Initially, the meaning of vacation houses is defined and outlined, mainly through literature review and definitions used occasionally by the Law. It goes on with the presentation of the legal framework and its codification. Although it might seem strange, the latter had never been done before in Greece. The legal framework for holiday settlements, that had been or is currently in force, has been analysed and criticized taking into consideration the historical context (e.g. dictatorship, corruption and periods of elections).
Furthermore, the analysis of the pattern of vacation houses that dominates in Greece on the whole, revealed an emphasis on unplanned and illegal settlements. It is distinctive that in the case study that took place the illegal settlement was almost thirty (30) times larger than the original planned settlement. The factors that caused this phenomenon in the first place and conserve it up to now are various (from the expansion of the welfare state to the development of a racket that trades upon public land) and were captured in a cyclical flow model.
For a multiplicity of reasons (e.g. proximity to the second largest city of Greece, Thessaloniki, existence of a planned and an unplanned part in the same settlement) Asprovalta, a seaside resort, was chosen, in order to get into deeper analysis. As far as the existing infrastructure and amenities in this pattern of settlements is concerned, the contradiction between reality and acceptable standards used in Greek master plans was thoroughly examined using GIS and indexes. The analysis showed that these unplanned so-called holiday settlements donít fulfil any of the standards required. Moreover, the comparison between the planned and the unplanned part of the same settlement, the one of Asprovalta, emphasizes on the conclusion that the dominant pattern of vacation homes in Greece doesnít contribute to the creation of a truly holiday environment.
The thesis results in proposals mostly regarding the reform of the legal framework. However, it is obvious that if the politicians are not wiling to take upon them the political cost of implementing the law, nothing will alter.
In my opinion this thesis is interesting, because it examines the development of vacation homes in Greece over a long period of time. It reveals the differences between the legal framework and reality and examines the reasons for their existence. Moreover, it shows that the dominant pattern of holiday settlements in Greece leads to the degradation of the environment, which has severe consequences for the attractiveness of the area.
Keywords
legislation vacation homes
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