Greece’s Creditors Push for Foreclosure Auctions


Greece’s creditors are pushing the Greek government to solve the issue of foreclosure auctions, in order to restore stability in the banking system and boost economy. However; in a blow to the Greek government, notaries decided to abstain from their duties until the end of the year.

Foreclosure auctions are one of the prerequisites for the completion of the third review of the bailout program. The notaries decision to stop performing their duties, came after episodes with activist groups entering courtrooms and not allowing auction procedures to take place, while often using violent means.

Even though banks have ensured that the foreclosure auctions would target only strategic non-payers and properties worth over 300,000 euros, so-called solidarity groups block courtrooms and stop auction procedures.

The decision the notaries took to abstain from all auctions undermines confidence in the Greek banking system, and ultimately the economy, said the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA), on Monday.

The reduction of exposure of Greek banks to non-performing loans (NPLs), is a major issue in restoring the health of the economy, HBA said.

The creditors are putting pressure on the government to delegate foreclosure auctions to other state bodies; such as justices of the peace or justice ministry officials. This model has been tested in countries such as Germany and Spain, and has been suggested to the Greek government, as well.

European creditors regard auctions as being of paramount importance in restoring the normality in the Greek banking system. At Monday’s Eurogroup meeting, European Central bank President Mario Draghi stressed that the Greek government should proceed rapidly with the auctions.

According to reports, ministers gave Greece a November 29 deadline for electronic auctions to proceed.