Up To 15,000 Homes On Seizure List

foreclosure_notice-300x200Greece’s coalition leaders said they will allow banks to confiscate 12,000-15,000 homes because they believe the owners have been trying to manipulate laws that protect people with primary residences worth up to 200,000 euros ($260,000) from losing them because they claim not to be able to afford the mortgage.

Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras and his partner, PASOK Socialist leader/Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said they are moving to satisfy the demands of international lenders and banks to start foreclosing on homes and lift a prohibition when it expires at the end of the year.

“The main residences of socially vulnerable citizens and those who cannot pay their loans because of the crisis will be totally protected,” said Samaras after the meeting, without revealing details of what the government is planning. “This is not under negotiation, period.”

Venizelos said only a few people would be affected by the decision – some 98 percent of people who can’t pay their mortgages are still expected to be exempted – although he didn’t say how that would help the banks balance their loan sheets sufficiently.

“The information I have shows that there is not a problem,” he said. “There are very few tricksters, who without really being vulnerable have hidden behind those who need protection,” said the PASOK leader.

The two are trying to head off a growing rebellion in their parties against the idea of allowing banks to take the homes of people who can’t afford to pay because of pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and the coming transfer or firing of as many as 40,000 civil servants.

The government has set aside a bill that would allow indebted households to restructure their loans, which many banks have refused to do, resulting in nearly one-fourth of mortgages going into default.

There was no word from Samaras and Venizelos on why their two parties, who owe banks 250 million euros ($333.9 million) aren’t paying what they owe. The banks, who depend on the government for 50 billion euros ($65 billion) in recapitalization funds, aren’t trying to collect.

The only collateral they put up, however, was not their party headquarters or properties but future monies they are allowed to take out of the public coffers to fund their operations. Despite that, many of their party workers are unpaid and PASOK reportedly hasn’t paid its rent in several years.

The moratorium on foreclosures began in 2009 as Greece was beginning a crushing economic crisis and getting the first of a series of $325 billion in two bailout loan packages from international lenders and has been renewed annually since. That practice will now stop, said Samaras, meeting the directives of the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).

Under the plans discussed at the meeting, in which Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis took part, only 2 percent of homeowners who have been protected from repossessions so far would be affected by the change, it was said.

Sources told Kathimerini that in cooperation with Greek banks, the Finance Ministry will be able to pinpoint which homeowners have been taking advantage of the moratorium by splitting larger mortgages into ones that are smaller than 200,000 euros and into other types of loans in order to avoid having their property seized. The ministry will also check on what deposits homeowners have and whether they are genuinely unable to meet their monthly repayments.



  1. Rest assured, the mansions of Antonis Samaras, & Evangelos Venizelos are not on this list of 15000 properties that might be siezed. These New Democracy and PASOK criminals who should (and will) meet their fate dangling at the end of a rope, when Golden Dawn takes power, intend to keep following the Troika’s orders till the very end in the hope that the Troika will protect them, & allow them to hold onto their personal wealth.

  2. ****200,000 euros ($260,000) from losing them because they claim not to be able to afford the mortgage.*****

    Where exactly does 200,000 Euro home and “poor” go together? My 80 year old neighbor down the street who lives in a two room home where one of my other neighbors and I fixed her keramidia (roof tiles) is POOR, but not someone who wants to own a 200K home.

    Plenty of homes for rent.

    BTW….real POOR people who get help are all too grateful and need to be pushed away with “then itan tipota” (it was nothing)….ENTITLED people on the other hand can’t stop screaming about how poor they are and how they are entitled to something or other.

  3. ·
    If Greece needs more money, why isn’t the TROIKA & PRESS asking where
    250 million Euros went that PASOK & ND Parties took out in “phony” bank loans from their Banker cronies, and never even paid a cent back after 10 years?

    Is that a show of their good Governance and Gov’t Management skills? Into
    whose greedy dirty pockets did the 100s of millions of Euros go into?

    Why isn’t the Greek Justice System & Press asking any questions? Could it be they are all in the same rotten bed together..?

    No worry, there will be a “million man” Greek march on Parliament who will demand all these slimy, rotting Politicians resign from office!