Athens calls for help to manage 1.5 bln euros of real estate

Athens calls for help to manage 1.5 bln euros of real estate

The Athens municipality has started looking for a real estate consultant to help make use of 1.5 billion euros of property it owns, officials said Tuesday.

In a city district council meeting held last week, the municipality approved the hiring of a consultant to record, advise and prepare a strategic plan on its real estate assets. A fee of up two million euros will be paid to the consultant over the next two years, municipality officials said.

The council has booked real estate holdings at 1.5 billion euros on its balance sheet though the actual market figure is likely to be considerably lower. Some of the property is rundown and poorly maintained with one property having been turned into a barn.

"In Kifisia (northern Athens), a building we own currently has sheep in it," Athens city council secratary general Lefteris Katsatanakis, told the district council meeting.

There was some resistance to the council hiring external consultants from within district council meeting, with some members arguing that the properties should be used to help refugees and the unemployed, rather than being primed for an investment fund. Others argued that the municipality should record and value the assets itself.

Greek law dicates that all state bodies must record their assets electronically by 2022.