State takes steps for the operation of crematoria in Greece

11 November 2016
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The Ministry of Environment is said to have prepared a joint ministerial decision for the creation of crematoria in Greece, however the recent cabinet reshuffle has delayed ratification.

According to sources from the Ministry of Environment the legislative initiative is being pushed forward due to the lack of available space at cemeteries, as well as the psychological and financial burden. Due to limited space, relatives are forced to exhume the remains after three years and deposit them in an ossuary.

Without any crematoria operating in Greece, about 4,000 families are forced to travel to Bulgaria for cremation each year, which further increases the emotional and financial strain.

The legislative initiative establishes that only municipalities and the public entities of local government can operate a crematorium. Private companies are not allowed to operate or manage a crematorium. Licenses are granted by district authorities, with the crematoria allowed to operate within legal cemeteries.

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