Having been to Greece several times myself and spoken to many Greeks, the following tale is very worrying knowing the debt levels of the nation and how worried Europe was about it during the EU’s financial crisis of 2007-2011.
It would appear that the ‘golden passport’ scheme and the introduction of AirBnB means that most Greeks cannot afford to live in their own capital Athens anymore.
The average normal salary in Athens is between €500-800 whilst rents have increased to a minimum of €600.
Furthermore, knowing that many wealthy Greeks who live in a villa in the countryside are renting out their Athens apartments on AirBnB, the rent increases have only shot through faster.
Lastly, there is the problem of the ‘golden passport’ scheme. This means that anyone who invests a minimum of €250,000 in Greek real estate could get a European passport allowing free travel across all Schengen zone countries. Many rich Turks, Chinese and Russians, worried about the instability in their own nations, have done so and also helped to increase Greek real estate prices.
Mr Lefteris Potamianos, president of the Athens Real Estate Association, admits the problem is real: “There are a lot of companies buying properties from Greeks and reselling to the Chinese.”
“It affects local people trying to rent properties, who see the prices going up. A lot of properties are going from Greek hands to foreign hands. We can’t control this.”
Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons