"There was little provision for the exclusion of the monuments in 2016," said Minister of Culture Myrsini Zorba, adding, "I suppose [former minister] Ms. Koniordou made a deal with the culture ministry, but I do not know it." Ms Zorba was referring to state property added to the fund allowing property to be placed as collateral against obligations to lenders.
With these statements, the new Minister of Culture cleared up what the government had concealed over the past few years: indeed, the real estate listings transferred to the real estate fund, or the so-called superfund, include museums and archaeological sites among them is the Venetian Bastion of Lando, the Firka Fortress, the Archaeological Museum of Crete and the Turkish Baths.
It is worth noting that as long as the codes of the national cadastre are cross checked, it is clear that the issue concerns archaeological sites throughout Greece and not only on Crete.
The event caused a storm of reaction among opposition parties while the Greek Archaeologists Association called for the immediate exclusion of the transfer of ownership and management of the monuments, stressing that it is De Facto real estate owned by the state and excempted from any transaction. At the same time, the assocition called for a meeting with Minister of Culture Myrsini Zorba and the Deputy Minister of Culture to be informed about the issue.
In her statements, the Minister of Culture wanted to downplay the issue by stressing that "there is a fuss over nothing".
"This is a 2016 law which gave the superfund all the buildings of the State with the exception of those declared asarchaeological sites, the Ramsar regions and others. I have no reason to question the legal order of the Finance Ministry," the minister said in an interview with radio station Thema 104.6 FM.
However, he admitted that "there was little provision to exclude the monuments," adding that "we have to see if it is something that threatens the monuments or a chronic problem of the ministry to have no cadastre".
Ms Zorba has left open the possibility of legislative intervention by saying that "we will see if it is necessary to clarify it" and adding "the Ministry must take a position that assures us that there is no problem and I have no reason to question it."
"I suppose Mrs Koniordou made an understanding with the ministry, but I do not know it," he added for the drafting of the list in 2016.