Greek lawmakers demand action on Airbnb
Forty five lawmakers from Greece's ruling Syriza party, about a third of its total deputies, are demanding that Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura do something about the record growth seen in the country's Airbnb market.
In a question they submitted to the two ministers in parliament, they said that the squeezing out of residents from areas with high demannd for shoter term rentals has created difficulties on different population groups, such as temporary teachers, students, and young cuples, who cannot afford the higher rents.
"Given that tourism in cities is expected to show further growth, it is clear that in Greece we need to introduce a very specific institutional framework, that will balance the quality of life for permanent residents and cover the needs of those looking for a place with tourism development and fair taxation," said the question.
Greece's tourism boom is driving demand for short term rentals in many parts Athens, mostly in the city center and along the southern coast, pushing rents higher by as much as 17 percent even though the economic recovery remains sluggish. Greece has tightened tax laws on owners renting their homes to tourists in a bid to fill governnment coffers but tax evasion in the sector is believed to be rampant.