Home foreclosures, Hellinikon hold up rescue money
Greece's eurozone creditors have held up the country's latest 5.7 billion euro loan tranche due to slow progress on two key reforms: forced homes sales and the Hellinikon urban development project.
Following a regular meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, the officials were positive on Greece's progress on reforms but held back the rescue money until March-at the earliest.
“Of all the 110 prior actions, only two are still outstanding. I am confident they can be cleared soon,” the head of the Eurogroup of the bloc’s finance ministers, Mario Centeno, told reporters.
There is little the Greek government can do right now in regards to the Hellinikon complex in southern Athens. Plans for the eight billion euro project are currently being looked over by the Council of State - the country's highest administrative court - and a decision is not expected until the end of next month.
In regards to forced home sales, Greece's left wing government is facing a more complex task. The country's creditors - eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund- are demanding that the 10,000 homes are sold off by banks by the end of the year in a bid to reduce their bad loans land and help fresh liquidity reach the economy.
Government and banking authorities in Greece have faced enormous opposition to home foreclosures - an issues the ruling Syriza party heavily opposed when in opposition. In a bid to help speed up the procedures, the government has decided as of May to drop home auctions taking place in courts around the country's and will only allow online auctions. However, weak demand for the property up for sale is also weighing on the procedure, with only about half of homes going under the hammer actually being sold.