Greeks Take their Money Out of the Country While Russians Bring It In

Greeks, afraid of a possible euro exit, have rushed to move their savings outside Greece, mostly by transferring funds to European banks or purchasing property abroad. On the contrary, European individuals and companies are investing their money in Greece especially due to bargains in real estate.

Ed Meade, director of Douglas and Gordon real estate agency in London, told the Voa News that “a lot more Greek buyers than expected ‘park’ their money in a safe haven,” adding that they buy property “in good condition, in a managed block, and easy to rent out all over the UK.”

There are no detailed reports on how much money Greeks have already moved out of the country, but some estimate that these figures are over $90 billion.

But as Greeks move their cash out, Russians are moving in. As a result of the debt crisis, Greeks are selling their property unable to find the money needed to maintain their houses in good condition or even to pay high taxes for them. They try to sell their houses at good prices, making generous bargains.

This is a pretty good opportunity, however, for other Europeans who always dreamed of a second home in sunny Greece. Yannis Revithis, president of the Greek Real Estate Agents’ Federation, says that there is an increase in demand of at least 200 percent from interested Russian buyers.

Constantinos Petridis, manager of the Mouzendis real estate agency believes that “Russians see Greece as a friendly country,” probably due to their shared Orthodox faith.