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Greeks to Pay Property Tax – Once Again!

“Paying taxes is a national duty,” said newly appointed Finance Minister Giorgos Zannias and ordered tax offices to send out the first wave of property tax bills for 2009 to 200,000 Greeks. The ETAK 2009 is the property tax bill that the state had failed to collect in the years that followed 2009. Instead an emergency property tax was raised triggering strong reactions especially because it was sent through the electricity bills.

At the same time, the caretaker FinMin of Pikrammenos’ interim government declared that  the bills to collect the emergency property tax for 2012 will be sent to property owners after the elections.

Most probably after the elections, the ETAK 2010 tax bills will be sent as well.

According to Proto Thema information, more than 100,000 Greeks will pay nothing in the context of ETAK 2009, but the rest  100,000 will have to come up of an average 700 euro. This tax will have to be paid until the end of May once. The bill does not allow property owners to pay this tax in installments.

Last Thursday, Proto Thema  had reported from the first cabinet meeting of Pikrammenos interim government, that the ETAK 2009 and 2010 tax bills were to be released as soon as possible. The prime minister’s office had denied the report.

Name it ETAK or emergency property tax, 1.37 million property owners in Greece have to pay more or less some 400-500 euro per month for their property. Something like a monthly rent in order to live in their own four walls.

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  1. In Greece, 80% of households own real estate, that’s a higher share than in most, if not all, other EU nations, including Germany (less than 50% here). Reducing that share a bit won’t be the end of the world, just a move towards the EU average. So, if homeowners won’t pay, confiscate their property and auction it of. Problem solved.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      your scheme is: confiscate property in order to reach EU average. Auction confiscated property to international ventures. Let them pay with Mono(poly)-Euro.

      • Btw, I guess in most nations, it is the standard that a real estate may be foreclosured if the debtors doesn’t pay his dues to the tax office or to the bank. That’s nothing special. But this reminds me, ain’t there an emergency law in Greece now that keeps the banks from doing so? That’s just another typically Greek pseudo solution, a way of kicking the can down the road. Let the debtors keep “their” property, no matter if they are really in a financial squeeze or not, and it will be the banks who pay the bill for that “social” benefit of the government. I guess a big part of the reason why Greek banks are almost bankrupt now is that they’re unable to force debtors to pay their premiums.

        Consequently, that loss of cashflow results in less credits for small businesses, of course. I’m not a friend of banks at all, but from an economic point of view, I understand that such a screwed up system can’t work and will have negative consequences for the economy. Popular laws may make sense to a majority of the voting public, but they still come with a bill that someone has to pay, and much too often do more harm than good.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          wait for the real solution: banks will transfer real estate mortgage loans to international companies.

        • no problem solved. the relatively low ownership in germany is the result of the unification, better pension then else where in europe, and controlled rent . in greece, however, due to the long period of dictatorship (supported by other eurpen states, btw) pension is lousy, rent is wild, and housing is used therfore as investment. so if houses will be confiscated, it will cause more social problems then NOT paying those taxes.
          also, assuming it will be confiscated for auction, can you also point us to the buyers?

          • keeptalkinggreece

            confiscated for auction? not sure about that. they companies will manage the properties, as it happens in Germany, for example.

  2. Kt, I don’t think international ventures are very interested in investing in Greece now, regarding the unstable situation. However, the Greek fat cats probably will avoid making big purchases, that may attract the interest of the tax collectors, too. So, the real estate market would probably sink to even deeper lows. Damn.

    Ok, I don’t have a perfect receipe for repairing Greece’s national finances, neither. Still, the point is, if the state cannot establish its authority to tax the citizens, all hope for a turnaround is vain. You cannot run a modern nation in an environment where people get away with refusing to pay taxes. So, no matter if the state can actually sell the properties, he should confiscate the real estate of tax offenders. That’s the only way to motivate the citizens to pay their dues.

  3. This doesn’t make sense though. If on the average we have to pay electricity bills of around 400-500 euros a month, and the average salary is about that amount, how on earth are people going to live?
    Interesting times we live in…

    • keeptalkinggreece

      I guess they assume that those -25 yrs old with 400 euro/month do not own property… It is not coincidence that many people did not pay the emergency property tax.