The regulations, signed by Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos, Development Minister Nikos Dendias, Health Minister Makis Voridis and Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis, form a single legal framework, according to which the municipalities will decide on the establishment and operation of cremation centers.
The Greek government decision will bring solution to the problems of cemeteries in large urban centers, as the operation of cremation centers will be allowed inside cemeteries.
A simple written statement signed by the deceased is enough to allow the cremation of their bodies. Otherwise, an application may be signed by their husbands, partners or relatives of 1st or 2nd degree. A coroner certification will also be required, that no further investigation is needed.
A legislation allowing cremation in Greece was approved in 2006, for the first time in the country’s history. In the UK, cremation has been allowed since 1884 while it is estimated that cremation represents 50% of the country’s total funerals. In France, cremation has been allowed since 1887.
The law permits the cremation of people who request this method, given that their religion also allows it. However, it forbids cremation of Orthodox Christians, as the Church of Greece opposes the practice.