Cremations were legalised in Greece in 2006, but the country did not have facilities for them to be carried out.

Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis signed a decision for the creation of Greece’s first cremation facility.

The ministerial decision paves the way for the construction of a facility in a city-owned plot in Elaionas, west of Athens. A park will surround the facility.

The construction of the crematorium will bring Greece in line with European legislation following delays, and mainly objections from the church.

The approval of Athens facilities follows the approval of those of Thessaloniki and Patra.

Aside from religious motivations, traditional burials are also a significant source of revenue for the funeral industry, local churches and municipalities.

Currently those seeking to cremate their deceased loved ones have been transporting the bodies to Bulgaria with the estimated price tag of 10,000 euros.

Once local cremation centres are open and running, the average cost will be around 500 to 600 euros.