2004 rental bids exceed 22,000

Over 22,000 Athens homes have been offered for rental to foreign visitors during next summer’s Olympics, officials managing the program said yesterday. A spokesman for Filoxenia 04, a management company set up by the two bank-led consortia handling the home rental program, told a press conference that some 200-300 new applications by landlords stream in every day. Constantinos Pallis added that around 5,000 people have expressed interest in renting Athens flats or villas during the Games. The rental program, which is intended to include some 6,000 homes, was deemed necessary after 2004 organizers snapped up the overwhelming majority of the capital’s top hotel rooms for the benefit of foreign Olympics and sports officials, as well as assorted visiting dignitaries. Landlords will make a minimum 35 euros ($40) per guest per day, while prices for three people staying for the minimum six-day period will start from 2,520 euros ($2,923).