Coronavirus-related ban causes DISTRESS to our people who BOUGHT real estate in Greece
The ban on entering Greece for the citizens of Serbia has created a big problem for those Serbs who own real estate in that country, because they are suffering enormous damage.
Residents of Serbia have bought more than five thousand apartments and studios in that country, and due to the non-payment of bills, debts have been accumulating for months, and burglaries and thefts in Serbian houses in the vicinity of Thessaloniki have already been reported.
Since July, property owners in Greece have been trying to explain to the authorities that they are not ordinary tourists, but citizens who have property in that country. They wrote to the Greek embassy in Belgrade and the ministries in Athens, but they did not receive any answer.
They turned the Facebook group “Greece first hand”, in which they have been gathered so far, into an association and they hired a lawyer, Lidija Pavlovic, who has been working in Thessaloniki for almost 20 years and she helped with most purchases of apartments in that region. They seek the status that will allow them to use the property, as regulated by international law.
“The association was formed because real estate owners have invested in Greece, but they have exactly the same treatment as tourists, regardless of the fact that they pay taxes to that country. Many bought houses in poor condition and renovated them. There are a lot of problems, they started to turn off electricity, those are additional costs, reconnection costs 80 euros. There are a lot of older people among the owners who do not know how to pay the bills online”, explains one of the apartment owners, Tamara Rancic.
Most owners have smaller apartments or studios purchased for pleasure, but there are also people who saw apartment purchasing in Greece as a business, they bought several apartments and even hotels, they are suffering the most damage, because the tourist season also failed due to the coronavirus.
Mass purchases began as soon as the law allowed it, and they flourished in the last seven years, due to low prices caused by the economic crisis in Greece.
Pavlovic says it is currently impossible to calculate the damage, especially the one related to the loss of patience and anxiety.
She says she is shocked by the fact that no Greek institution responded in writing to the pleas and requests. That is why her advice is for the state of Serbia to back up its citizens, because, according to her experience with the Greek judiciary system, that is the only remedy.
“It would be good to submit a formal request to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs or their embassy, which would deal with it. Only at that level could something be done, there is no other way.”