Local authorities have in their possession expropriated properties – some dating back decades – whose total value comes to tens of billions of euros, and there appears to be no intention of dealing with the problem. This is an issue that not only undermines the ownership of those properties, but also hurts the country’s growth prospects in general, as many such assets are of an investment character and could be utilized.
Just a few days ago the City of Athens announced it has secured funds of 25 million euros for the compensation of owners of properties in the city center that were expropriated as long as 80 years ago. Furthermore, those expropriations were deemed by the City Council as mature for compensation, as courts have set specific compensation amounts for them and the owners have submitted applications to have the expropriation extended and not lifted.
Among the owners who are entitled to compensation are National Bank of Greece, the Church of Greece, Public Power Corporation and many individuals. For instance, the expropriated plots include a 1,000-square meter property at Mitropoloes Square in central Athens that was expropriated in 1972 – its current value is estimated at 4.4 million euros.