OPINION

A greater role in Europe’s real estate

One can only welcome the fact that the Greek real estate market has appeared on the map of foreign institutional investors. Almost silently, a mature market is emerging which is creating new opportunities. These opportunities are not just for foreign capital but mainly for the national economy. And things may get even better. All forecasts indicate some explosive growth in the European real estate market, with invested capital in 2006 of somewhere between 180 and 200 billion euros. So now is the time to get moving and act to claim a greater share of international activity in European real estate. Becoming a bigger player in the European real estate game will be achieved if we can overcome the distortions and obstacles. We must also formulate a functional plan for land use, if we are to play with an even stronger hand. The preconditions for this is that work proceeds more rapidly on the land register and that the Public Real Estate Company (KED), the largest land and property owner in Greece, gets a wake-up call. Unfortunately, KED is plagued with non-transparency and dependency on vested interests. As the first head of KED, who fled just a few months after he was appointed, admitted to National Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, «the establishment rules and will not permit the government to make use of a valuable developmental tool.»