A resident of Municipality of Paionias in Kilkis prefecture in Central Macedonia, was asked to pay 10 euro annual fee for his grave in advance!
39-year-old Kostas was shocked to receive such a notice by the municipality and called a private TV station to complain about the creepy demand.
It should be noted that he owns neither a family grave in the cemetery nor has he applied for one.
Speaking to ANT1 TV, Kostas said that in fact he had received the first notice for the Grave Levy in 2016 for calendar year 2015. A couple of days ago, he received another notice, claiming the 10 euro plus a ‘fine’ of 0.91 for delayed payment.
Kostas said that he was in good health and that, of course, he does plan to leave this world soon.
He added that he had submitted to municipality a letter in which he declared that he does not wish to be buried in the cemetery of Paionias.
Therefore, he did not receive a grave levy for 2016. Just the old one with the fine.
While the morning magazine presenters speak about the case, a technician from the control room says he was also asked to pay 10 euro in advance for the future grave costs. The technician is 35 years old. He did not say in which municipality he has been registered.
When the journalists called the Municipality of Paionias, the deputy mayor in charge of the municipality finances, Giorgos Fragos, said that it was a decision of the city council and not much can be done against it.
He clarified that residents can be exempted from the fee if they declare they do not want to be buried there. He claimed that the decision is old and he did not see anything wrong in it. “Every family registered in our municipality needs to pay this fee” regardless of whether they have a family grave in the cemetery or not. The deputy mayor repeated again and again that “the cemeteries need money in order to be maintained.”
He claimed further that many municipalities raise the grave fee.
Fragos was not able to answer the question whether there is a fee return if a resident dies and is buried somewhere else despite the fact that he was paying the 10-euro annual fee for several years or even decades.
Fragos seemed astonished about this “macabre discussion” as he described the issue.
Each month, residents pay a juicy fee to the municipalities depending on the size of their residences. Municipality fees are incorporated in the electricity bill.
In addition to own revenues, municipalities are also funded by the state according to the registered residents. If one after the other the residents start to ‘unregister’, municipalities will be in more dire financial condition than they are now. The bailout agreements and the enforced austerity have forced municipalities to increase their revenues on their own.