The Greek government is reportedly in the final stages of preparation for a new legal framework to hold all property auctions via an online electronic format, something that will abolish the current process in local courts (eirinodikia) around the country.
Systematic protests and mobilizations by groups opposed to all types of property auctions, combined with decisions by notaries’ associations to abstain from the process – usually held every Wednesday – have block numerous auctions for months, after a moratorium was lifted.
An inability, primarily by lien-holding banks, to auction off foreclosed real estate has removed one of the primary tools used by credit institutions to try and reduce a “mountain” of bad debt in the country.
Last week’s attempt at the main Athens court complex to conduct auctions was accompanied by violent protests, with riot police using tear gas inside a building to clear demonstrators.
Notaries’ associations have supported the idea of shifting from the current system to an online process, given the fact that several offices have been wrecked over the recent period by protesters and several notaries have been threatened.
A current platform available via the Athens Bar Association has only limited capabilities, with a maximum of five property auctions per day.
As opposed to the traditional process of an auction in a court setting, e-auctions have attracted immense interest on the part of would-be buyers. The finance ministry’s current platform features 129 properties up for auction through an online process. Additionally, e-auctions will take place on Thursdays and Fridays, as well.