Yesterday after six months of going back and forth with Greece, we finally organised to have the paperwork submitted to the Greek National Land Registry Office.
The Greek government has recently urged people who have any land to register it formally through the Cadastre. If you don’t do this, the government will seize the land.
What this means is that property owners will need to take action or risk losing it.
As you can understand, it’s sent people in a spin. As a lot of the land is willed through generations, simply having an inheritance letter is not enough. You will need to submit topographic maps, E9 tax forms and formal paperwork to claim that land is yours. To foreigners like myself, this gives us nightmares to have to deal with Greek bureaucracy (especially if like me, you don’t live there, nor have any connection to the country).
Some years back, we were transferred through inheritance, a tiny pocket of land. It’s so tiny that you can walk by it and miss it. Its minuscule. It’s situated in a lovely little village in western Crete in the mountains (but only a short 10 minute drive from beautiful beaches) but we’ve not seen it except from Google Earth. However, this time around, we had to organise the paperwork or risk losing it.
We pondered whether we should just cut our losses and let it go; however, without the right paperwork, we wouldn’t be able to sell it nor transfer it to other relatives. It was a Catch-22. So we stuck with it and found a company who could help us out with sorting it out.
To cut a long story short, this is what I’ve been dealing with in behind the scenes and it’s brought up questions about place, heritage and identity once again. Yesterday, the final paperwork was submitted and it’s now on the cadastre.
Part of me is connected to this land – spiritually – but another part of me knows that it’s unlikely – ever – for us to move away from Australia, my country, my land. (Despite how irritating and annoyed I am with it’s government).
However another part of me knows that we have this piece of tiny land that is OURS. I am connected to it through my culture, through my mother’s stories, through my Greek heritage. Despite being Australian, I am also quite proud to be a Hellene – and Greece recognises me as such.
We have a place in another country, half a world away, and call it ours. We can go and park a caravan on it or put on a tiny home – or just pitch up a tent there if we want to. If I want to, I could also become an EU Citizen.
I could even work if I wanted to knowing Greek, English and French now.
I have my own little place in the sun so to speak and a back up option if things go to crap.
It’s been playing a lot on my mind of late.
Do I let it go or do I keep it?
Maybe I’ll just leave it a while and decide later. No rush but it’s good to know there are options.