Greek diplomatic properties from London to Belgrade will be put on the block to raise cash and stop a revenue drain as the government tries to cut costs and satisfy international lenders it’s doing all it can to counter a crushing economic crisis.
Up for sale are Ambassador’s and Consul’s offices and residences, including one in the United Kingdom’s second-most expensive residential area, the news agency Bloomberg reported.
Also set to go is the former Royal Palace of Tatoi outside Athens that may be sold or leased as it has crumbled into ruin. It was used by the Royal Family until they fled the country in 1967 before the monarchy was abolished and the Hellenic Republic was proclaimed in 1974.
The estate includes 40 outbuildings, stables and a cemetery where Greek royalty dating back to 1880 are buried, the people said. A sale may be hindered by popular opposition and the condition of the estate, which has fallen into ruin, according to the people.
Greece has pledged to raise 50 billion euros ($64 billion) from state assets, around half of which is real estate, by 2020 to meet conditions tied to $325 billion in two bailouts, including one pending for $172 billion. The Hellenic Privatization Fund last week said it plans to push the pace of sales as inspectors from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) were in Athens to check progress on reforms. The government is planning another $14.6 billion in cuts.
The country’s diplomatic jewel, a 947-square-meter (10,000-square-foot) London property is a 115-year-old Victorian townhouse in the Holland Park area of Kensington & Chelsea, the U.K.’s wealthiest borough after the City of Westminster, according Marsh & Parsons Ltd., the London- based real estate agency. Residents include Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and television talent show host Simon Cowell. Similar properties to the Greek residence rent for $41,000 a week.