3.5 Million Illegal Settlements Identified in South-east Europe

2014_settlementsProviding affordable housing remains a major challenge for poor and wealthy countries with latest UN statistics showing 3.5 million illegal settlements in just five south-east European countries.

While there are no slums in the countries identified in a new report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), people living in Illegal settlements face numerous problems, it says.

The solution is to change government thinking on the issue, according to the UN agency. Jocelyne Sambira reports from Geneva.

Poverty, conflict and natural disasters are just three of the reasons why illegal houses continue to spring up today.

At the latest count, there were 3.5 million in Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus and Montenegro.

A UN forum in Geneva is finding ways to provide people who live in illegal communities with things we might take for granted – like electricity, tarmac roads and street lighting.

Chryssy Potsiou thinks she has the answer.

She’s the author of a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe report on informal settlements and she says governments need to legalise the situation.

This means giving people ownership of illegal properties so they can start paying tax on them, since there’s too little public money to provide sufficient public housing.

“We need to assist them. We need to integrate this informal real estate into the circle of the economy.”

The problem is urgent in south-east European countries such as Montenegro, where UNECE says more than half of the population lives in informal settlements.

2 comments to 3.5 Million Illegal Settlements Identified in South-east Europe

  • Rabbitnexus

    So they are living in these settlements because of poverty so the answer is to tax them? Sounds like the Western model alright.

  • ET

    There is a certain cabal of humans whom consider themselves to be the ‘chosen people,’ and they care not about the rest of humanity —ourselves— which are considered to be nought but ‘animals’ to be used, abused, and summarily discarded without ceremony. Their own words are witness, and attest to just that fact.

    It is that self-same cabal which instigate misery all over the globe, in order that =>THEY<= make LOTS of money in the process. Yes: Others will die in abject misery, but the 'chosen people' could not care less, because it's all about the money, the power, and the control. They are not referred to as the 'money changers' for nothing, for such is the very core essence of their existence: It is the ONLY thing which defines their reason for being alive.

    The bringing of all peoples together in amity is anathema for the 'chosen people,' for that would obviate the whole idea of any one group being the 'chosen people.' No! We can't have that now, can we? Of course not! Banish the though!!!

    When pressed, they declare that their book of fairytales, machinations, and plagiarisms, is all they need to impose themselves upon everyone else. End of story. No one else's book, or beliefs matters, because all other books, beliefs, and histories are irrelevant as far as they are concerned.

    They say they are the 'chosen people.' Well, why is it that no one else got that memo? Why not the Hindu, the Buddhist, the animists, the atheists, the agnostics, or anyone else?

    And why is it, that it is ~only they~ whom are supposedly granted a piece of real estate —thoroughly dispossessing its rightful occupants— at a specific location, when no other peoples anywhere —ever— have been granted such? Just because their 'precious' book says so?

    Well, what IF someone ~else~ comes along, and uses ~HIS~ book to declare that HE possesses the right to dispossess the current dispossessing occupiers, if only because ~his~ book predates that of the 'chosen people's', and therefore has greater validity, with the current occupiers being nought but pretenders, connivers, and machinating deceivers of the worst sort?

    Maybe it's time for just ~that~ to happen.

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