Most Greeks would welcome the transition toward a green economy, but since the country is still feeling the aftermath of an acute 10-year debt crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the economy, they cannot afford to take the steps needed without substantial state support.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA), 65% of property owners in the country would like to renovate their houses to make them more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, but they simply cannot afford that kind of investment.
The survey was part of wider research carried out during the first quarter of 2021 by the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI), a pan-European association based in Brussels. It brings together 31 organizations from 28 countries and represents the owners of up to 25 million dwellings across Europe.
UIPI’s aim was to assess European property owners’ capacity and willingness to renovate and how the Covid-19 pandemic affected their plans. Around 10,000 property owners participated in the survey, including 728 in Greece.
The results showed that the overwhelming majority of respondents supported the aim of greening the economy and readily recognized the associated economic and environmental benefits, but needed strong incentives like tax reductions, subsidies, grants and loans to be able to actively participate in the process.
The financial crisis has dealt a serious financial blow to many property owners, Nikos Tsatsis, chief development officer at Plasis Real Estate and Development, a real estate agency in Athens, explained to Xinhua.
“They do not have the same income as they had in the past and they find it difficult to finance a renovation project. There is a lack of liquidity and it is also difficult to get a loan.” [Xinhua]