Chania | Why the fines were introduced in the shops of the Port of Venice – What was revealed in the assembly of merchants | Photos

By | May 9, 2023

The issue of the fines recently sent to merchants in the Venetian port of Chania by the public land service is proving particularly complex, which became evident at the general meeting of the merchants’ union that took place at EBEX on Tuesday, in the presence of union members, candidates for parliament and the mayor of Chania.

What was said at the meeting clarified to a great extent what happened and the following seems true:

The Port of Venice is ceded by the public land office to the municipal port fund. That in turn gives licenses to use the common areas in the stores.

Until 2016, the merchants received permits. In 2017 and 2018 the permits were not issued, because the businesses had illegal constructions in these spaces, mainly the awnings.

For those two years there was a provision in a law brought to Parliament by the then Minister of Commercial Transport, Panagiotis Kouroumplis, that the port fund could give them permits even if they had illegal awnings. But the port fund chose not to.

The port authority then fined the stores because they were not licensed. But the port fund did not collect anything either, because it did not issue permits to collect fees, while the fines do not worry it.

In 2020, the Simandiraki municipal authority reached an agreement with the merchants to deal with the issue. Meanwhile, a legal path had been established to license businesses, but the year 2017-18 was pending.

For these two years, the municipality of Chania requested and received the approval, albeit with reservations, from the Ministry of Merchant Marine, for a procedure that allowed it to grant licenses to shops after the fact. He implemented it.

In addition, since the businesses had already paid fines for the years 2017-18, it allowed them to offset the fees with later years, acknowledging that it would not be fair for them to have a license and also pay a fine.

Thus, in 2022 the merchants paid the city council 1/10 of the usual fees they have, to “take expenses” in 2017. Instead of 100 euros per square meter, they paid 10 euros.

All this, however, left out the public real estate service that was not related to the fines of the port authority. So, she came and imposed fines… in her name that amount to an additional 58,000 euros, because she considers that the closing of 2017 was not collected.

From the policy that had been implemented through 2020, both the shopkeepers and the port fund lost, paid fines, and the fund raised nothing. We looked for a solution and the Ministry of Navigation told us that we can, based on the certificates issued by the port authority, grant the space. Today there is no public revenue that should have been collected by the government and has not been collectedPanagiotis Simandirakis told those assembled. “Both the fine and the fee were paid. But the real estate agency insisted that the 2017 fee had not been collected and imposed the fines.”

The mayor announced that the president of the municipal port fund, Manolis Kotsifakis, was in Athens on Monday and met with the administration of the real estate agency, presenting documents that the money has been collected and that the procedure was carried out with the approval . of the Ministry of Navigation.

The solution proposed by the municipality of Chania is to pay the port fund to the land office by the end of 2017, which would cover everyone and remove the reason for the imposition of fines.

However, the land office currently does not recognize the process and if it persists, the situation will lead to a dead end.

On behalf of the mayor, it became clear that it cannot be considered fair to take over the port fund and the fines from the businesses.

On the other hand, for businesses, the situation is urgent, since the term to appeal these fines is one month and only for the court to agree to discuss such a case, 1/5 of the fine must be paid, otherwise it is not even presented in the audience. The need to find a solution was pointed out by the president of the professionals, Aria Paraskeviaki, who also emphasized that it is not fair for businesses to pay twice for the same thing.

There was an agreement that the issue could be resolved by legislative initiative, but this cannot be done in time, since there is no Parliament.

Thus, now it is expected that the situation will pass to the level of the political leadership, which will seek a field of consultation with the land office in a legal and fair manner for all, about ten days before the elections…

In this sense, a large meeting will be held on Wednesday convened by the president of the Chamber of Chania, Antonis Rokakis, to which a representative of the real estate agency has been invited, together with several agencies. – Leonidas Filikozis

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