This seminar will analyse the interaction between state fiscal policies and financial actors in the (re)commodification and financialisation of housing and its role in the restructuring of private property relations in the context of Greece, focusing on the case of Thessaloniki.
The economic adjustment programmes implemented to deal with the Greek crisis aggravated socio-economic inequalities and increased private indebtedness both towards the state (mainly through the introduction of a new property tax) and financial institutions (through the inability to pay their mortgages). As the Greek housing system is characterised by high rates of owner-occupation, the absence of social housing, and the social diffusion of property ownership, the conditions for widespread housing dispossession have been created. Foreclosures and auctions were largely prevented until recently due to the legal framework and citizen activism, yet, the protection of primary residences from foreclosure has been gradually overturned. As a result, and given the mass availability of devalued assets, institutional investors are increasingly acquiring repossessed properties and mortgages.
Philipp Katsinas is a Hellenic Bank Association Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hellenic Observatory. He received his doctorate from the Department of Geography, King's College London. His current research explores the transformations occurring in the Greek housing system. He previously taught at King's College London and Birkbeck, University of London. Philipp is Special Features Editor at CITY.
Vassilis Monastiriotis is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at LSE.
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The Hellenic Observatory (@HO_LSE) is internationally recognised as one of the premier research centres on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. It engages in a range of activities, including developing and supporting academic and policy-related research; organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops; academic exchange through visiting fellowships and internships; as well as teaching at the graduate level through LSE's European Institute.
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