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Greek Tourism Legislation Now Codified, Soon Available Online

All laws and rules involving the Greek tourism sector, dating back to over 100 years, have been brought together and arranged into a systematic code, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura announced on Monday.

“We are proud to present a clear, complete and functional legislative framework that provides comprehensive online information for the current tourism legislation,” Kountoura said while presenting the project “Codification of Tourism Legislation”, during an event held at the offices of the European Public Law Organization in Athens.

According to Kountoura, all laws that fall under the responsibility of the ministry — including rules involving hotels, travel agencies, tourist coaches, tourism education and special forms of tourism — are now gathered in a database and will be available online through an updated platform that will be accessible through the tourism ministry’s website. Access is expected to be available as of mid-June.

The project, which has been implemented by the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) and Intraway Management and Technology Consultants, aims to eliminate multiplicity and endless bureaucracy.

Codification of legislation is a complex procedure, which involves the collection, recording, consolidation, clearing and systematic classification of legislative and regulatory provisions as well as the other matters of a particular policy area, including more specific relevant legal provisions and regulatory acts.
The Tourism Ministry is the first ministry in Greece that has codified its legislation.

“We have accumulated the legislation of more than 100 years, specifically from 1914 until today. Now, only current legislation will be available, in a very clear manner and with the possibility of immediate access,” she informed, referring to the ministry’s initiative as a legacy for Greek tourism.

Through the new platform, interested parties, including Greek tourism enterprises and professionals, co-competent ministries, chambers, regions, local authorities and civilians, will be able to access the legislation without having to refer to older laws and anachronistic provisions.

The codification of Greek tourism laws is expected to be particularly useful for potential investors.

The minister assured that any changes made to Greek tourism legislation will be available online. “From now on, this platform will include any change in legislation as its content will be updated immediately,” Kountoura said.

An interesting feature of the new platform is the “timeslider”, which shows the development of a specific tourism law, including any provisions, over the course of time.

Funded by the NSRF 2014-2020 program, the platform follows the ontology of EUR-Lex, the official database of European Union law and other public documents of the EU. The content is based on the European Legislation Identifier (ELI) for laws and regulations, currently implemented by Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Norway, United Kingdom and the EU – Publications Office.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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