Despite the high expectations that have been cultivated, Greece has so far failed to exploit the full potential of its state-owned real estate.
This has been made painfully obvious by the meager earnings and profits shown for yet another year by the Public Properties Company (ETAD), which has taken over most of the state’s real estate.
More specifically, the state-owned company posted revenues last year that barely surpassed 47 millions euros and net profits of 10 million euros.
Based on these figures and given that it owns or manages roughly 80,000 properties, ETAD earned last year an average of 600 euros in revenue and a net profit of 135 euros on each of its properties.
One of the main problems faced by ETAD is that the ownership status of a large proportion of these properties which it is managing remains unclear due to a host of legal snags.
“For a number of properties it is unclear whether ETAD can exercise control,” the company says.
It added that this is because they are subject to exemptions in the relevant laws or because there are legal and technical impediments, while other properties are not listed in the relevant land registries and cadasters.
An example of the problems faced by ETAD is that former owners of properties that were expropriated by the state between 20 and 30 years ago for tourism development purposes have filed appeals to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, to reverse these expropriations.
Plaintiffs have based their appeals on the fact that these properties were never developed for tourism-related purposes.
In some of these cases, the Council of State has already ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.
In two such cases (at Paliouri in Halkidiki, northern Greece, and Fanari in Komotini, northeastern Greece) the plaintiffs have regained ownership of their former properties.
The number of retrievals of ownership by former owners would probably have been even greater if they were able to compensate ETAD.