Minister of Environment and Energy Panos Skourletis signed an amendment that opens the way for the establishment of cremation facilities in Greece.
The new amendment puts an end to environmental concerns that were a hurdle to the licensing of cremation establishments. Cremation units are now subject to the procedures of “standard environmental requirements.” Cremation facilities no longer need to be near cemeteries and that makes their establishment much easier.
However, the last obstacle remaining is that the final word for the licensing belongs to municipal authorities.
So far, several municipalities such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Volos and Markopoulo have tried to establish cremation facilities within their jurisdiction, but their efforts stalled because of strong reaction by the Church of Greece.
The Greek Orthodox Church is against cremation, thereby forcing those who want to cremate their dead to send the bodies abroad. The closest location to cremate the dead is Sofia, Bulgaria. The cost of the transfer of the dead and the cremation process in Bulgaria starts at 1,900 euros.