New blackout in transfers!

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A new blackout in the transfers is expected to be caused by the imminent abstention of the Athens-Piraeus and Islands notaries from their duties, from May 30 to June 20, 2022, with the prospect of the mobilization being extended in time and becoming nationwide.

The mobilization of the notaries was decided on the occasion of the decision of the Land Registry to make the electronic submission of notarial deeds mandatory but also the problems that exist on the part of the public services for the processing of contract and transfer cases.

It is worth noting that in April, the notaries were led to a decision of abstention on the occasion of other regulations related to the issuance of certificates by the municipalities, the well-known TAP.

The chairman of the Coordinating Committee of Notary Associations of Greece spoke in Sin George Rouskas who after clarifying that notaries do not disagree with the digitization of the procedure but ask for settlement of issues related to transaction security and delimitation of responsibilities of notaries.

Mr. Rouskas emphasizes that20,000 notarial transfers are pending and κρούif the alarm bell does not create the phenomenon of electronic bureaucracy.

At the same time, it confirms that there are cases where “experts” from the cadastral offices taking on the role of notaries promise to speed up the bureaucracy and calls for the creation of transparent procedures so that there are no second thoughts.

The following is the full interview of the President of the Notarial Association of Athens – Piraeus – Aegean & Dodecanese Courts of Appeals, George Rouska with Elli Komninou:

What is your decision regarding the withdrawal from your duties from any transfer deed?

Until May 30, our notarial duties are normal. But until then we also do not have answers from the Greek State for the major issue that concerns us, ie the electronic submission exclusively by the notary and without the physical presence of our contracts in the mortgage offices and the cadastral offices belonging to the Land Registry, without addressing issues related to the security of the transaction and the delimitation of the notary’s liability, then in this case from May 30 we will abstain from performing our notarial duties.

However, you are not against online submission, you just want some conditions to be met?

You are right. Of course we are in favor of evolution. However, this development must obey specific rules which, after the necessary legal regulations, will ensure the security of the transaction and the delimitation of our responsibilities as well as those of the recipient of the specific cadastral services.

In the previous phase of the abstention, you reacted to the ARF and the electronic identity of the buildings. I also ask you in relation to the timely applications up to 31/3 that exist from private interested parties to make some transfers. They expected the process to be completed with a simple engineering certificate.

Just so it is. Because there are almost 20,000 notarial transfers to be signed in the whole country. These are sales, parents, donations, recommendations, etc. For them, while the largest number of required documents had been collected for specific reasons such as non-issuance of TAP certificate by the municipalities, change of the procedure for obtaining insurance and tax information, for some days it was impossible to carry out their transfer so the electronic ID is required. What we asked for is all these cases for which certificates had been issued and the statements had been submitted and the largest number of documents had been collected by 31/3 to have a specific legal regulation that allows them to be signed at a later time for two months and on the other hand all transfers that would start from April 1 to be made using the electronic ID.

Thus, we would have a dispersion of the number of notarial deeds and we would not face these problems that we face today that in addition to the current work and the previous deeds will require the issuance of an electronic ID.

So we are talking about a huge volume of work that you are called to manage, which if you are eventually led to abstention will remain on the ice?

To confirm that the average time for the implementation of a transfer is from 20 days ideally up to 6 months. This is because the large number of documents required in order for a transfer to take place and unfortunately the non-response of all the bodies that issue these specific certificates and have burdened the Greek transfer definitely makes the contract signing process difficult, time consuming and an extremely tedious process. Whoever has made a transaction, whoever has made a transfer either as a buyer or as a seller confirms it.

You have obviously reported the matter to the competent authorities, what is their intention?

As an institution we are obliged to communicate with our physical superiors who are the Public Services because we act as direct public officials, ie as a continuation of the Public Administration. We hope that the competent Ministry of Digital Government, as it has given a solution in previous cases, to give a solution to this issue as well, in order to have a secure electronic procedure, delimited for our responsibilities as well as for the responsibilities of the Land Registry.

According to some reports, there are cases where some of the Cadastral offices appear as experts to do your job. Is that true?

Where there is any issue and I am talking about a transaction or delay issue, it also creates the specialized conditions for “experts” to appear who are able in their own ways to execute or expedite or promise to expedite procedures related to dealing with of the Greek bureaucracy. This phenomenon exists and can be easily addressed when you create those transparent processes that do not allow for assessments, opinions and second thoughts.

So to summarize, what do notaries ask for?

Greek notaries agree with the electronicization of the process of registration of contracts in the cadastral offices. We ask, however, that this process does not mean an additional electronic bureaucracy but to be safe, to ensure that our fellow citizen who acquires a real right buys a house or is transferred by donation or parental benefit. The registration process should be short. To be checked immediately so that everyone can know their rights. What we have with our experience so far is that the process of electronic submission faces specific problems that we have identified and we ask the Greek State and we hope that we will have the appropriate response to hear our views, to create this safe environment for to have time for all of us to respond successfully to this difficult process.
We believe that we will be able to inform our body after the meetings we will have until the end of next week with those in charge and we hope to have a solution to this issue.

Does the auction process continue?

Yes, it goes on.

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