Four arrests in Greece over illegal building on popular islands
ATHENS, Greece — Four people were arrested on popular Greek islands on Friday, May 5, on charges of illegal construction, police said Saturday amid a government crackdown on building abuses ahead of the tourist season.
During targeted checks carried out on the South Aegean island of Mykonos, three people were arrested for carrying out work despite a suspension of construction work that had been imposed, police said.
On the island of Rhodes, an owner of a tourism business was arrested for occupying a part of the beach with fixed metal and wooden structures without a permit.
Greece’s environment minister vowed in March to halt illegal construction on Mykonos days after a local archaeologist was beaten in an apparent building dispute.
“The law will be enforced in Mykonos,” Kostas Skrekas said, ruling out construction permits for rural areas outside the existing urban planning grid.
“No illegal plan will be legalized… there will be no loophole,” he said.
Mykonos attracted more than 2 million tourists in 2022, making it a target for illegal buildings by people looking to profit from the lucrative business.
On March 7, a Mykonos archaeologist, Manolis Psarros, was beaten by unidentified assailants outside his home in Athens.
The Greek archaeologists association alleged that the attackers were probably hired by people engaged in illegal construction on Mykonos, which it said was “out of control.”
“The perpetrators of the criminal and mafia-style attacks against the archaeologist will be punished,” Skrekas said.
A Greek police unit specializing in blackmail cases is investigating the incident.