Olympic rental program bombs

Less than seven weeks before the start of the Athens Olympics, an official admitted yesterday that a home rental program initially intended to include some 5,000 properties has failed to attract anything near the anticipated demand. According to Constantinos Pallis, managing director of the private consortium handling the rental program, fewer than 1,000 Athens landlords – out of the 17,000 that applied to join the program – have signed contracts to let their properties to Olympic visitors. «So far, demand has been lower than our expectations,» Pallis told Kathimerini. «The international situation has contributed to this. People fear terrorist attacks, particularly after the Madrid bombings, while surveys have shown that fewer Europeans will travel abroad this summer as Europe’s economies are not in the best of states.» Pallis also attributed low demand to negative media coverage of Greece’s preparations for the Games. Landlords will earn a minimum of 35 euros per guest per day.