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GREECE Real Estate Investor’s Overview


Hellenic Republic (Greece) Area: Length of State Border: Border Countries: Climate: Terrain: Elevation extremes:

131, 990 sq. km. 1,228 km Albania (282 km), Bulgaria (494 km), Turkey (206 km), FYROM (246 km) Temperate, mild, wet winters, hot, dry summers Îœostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m - Highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m

Membership in important international organizations: European Union, NATO, EBRD, EIB, IBRD, IMF, IMO, Interpol, OECD, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO, WTO, CERN

Geographic Importance `

Strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and the southern approach to the Dardanelles Straits, a peninsular country possessing an archipelago of approximately 3,000 major islands Natural resources: Legal system: Time zone: Official language: Currency: Capital: Government type: Head of State: Head of Government:

Lignite, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnetite, marble, salt Based on Roman law, judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts GMT +2 Greek Euro Athens Unicameral Parliament– 300 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to four-year terms President Prime Minister

Economic hub of Southeast Europe Despite the economic crisis that has emerged, mainly since 2010, Greece remains appealing as an investment location because it offers business people a wide variety of investment opportunities that take advantage of the country’s strategic geographic location and unique competitive advantages. Greece is a natural gateway to more than 140 million consumers in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, a region with a GDP of almost 1 trillion Euro. As the hub of diverse emerging markets, Greece provides access to populations with a strong demand for consumer goods, infrastructure modernization, technology and innovation networks, energy, tourism development, and light manufacturing. At the same time, Greek companies and banks have a strong foothold in the markets of neighboring states. Investors are discovering that Greece has a combination of characteristics that are unequalled in Europe. Greece is a leading global tourism destination, an emerging regional energy hub, and possesses highly educated and multilingual human capital.

Population 10,815,197 (Resident population, census 2011) Density 81.96/km2 Population by age group (Population projection for the year 2012) Age Group Percentage of Total 0-14 14.37% 15-64 65.94% 65+ 19.69% Economically-active population 4.97 million (4th Quarter 2012) Birth rate 10.15 births /1,000 population (2010) Major Greek Cities Population (census 2011) Athens (greater region) Thessaloniki (greater region) Patras Iraklio Larissa

Major highways Egnatia Highway PATHE Motorway Ionian Motorway, Rion-Antirion (Bridge) Attiki Odos Motorway

3,827,624 1,110,312 213,984 173,993 144,449

Transportation & Telecommunications Railways total: 2,552 km Roadways total: 117,000 km Of which: Urban: 75,500 km Interurban: 41,500 km

Major Ports Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Volos, Patras, Alexandroupolis, Elefsina, Igoumenitsa, Iraklio, Kavala, Rhodes, Lavrio, Chalkida, Corfu Major Airports [15 international airports, 26 domestic airports, 20 million passengers annually] Main airports: Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos), Thessaloniki, Iraklio (Crete), Rhodes, Corfu, Kos, Chania, Zakynthos, Samos, Mykonos, Santorini (Thira) Telecommunications Telephones – main lines in use: 4,910,177 (2012) Telephones – mobile (cellular): 15,861,833 (2012) Mobile phone penetration: 140.5% (2012) Mobile phone operators: Cosmote, Wind Hellas, Vodafone Greece Internet penetration: 54% (2012) Broadband penetration: 23.8% (est. end 2012) The increase of broadband penetration in the country during 2012 (2 lines per 100 residents) is higher than the previous year (1.8 lines per 100 residents).

Important information about Greece Greece is a truly unique location. Despite its small size, the country enjoys a particularly pristine and diverse natural environment that offers everything from scenic island getaways to cozy mountain retreats. The country’s stunning topography provides the backdrop for an unequalled array of recreational opportunities. This, combined with a spirited lifestyle that blends the Mediterranean’s ancient and modern culture, makes Greece a simply extraordinary place to be—and a wonderful place to call home.

History & Culture Is the birthplace of Western civilization, Greece’s cultural legacy lives on in the modern Greek society. While countless archeological sites and museums—including the new Acropolis Museum—offer visitors a chance to experience Greek history up close and personal, the country’s deep heritage is also felt in the spectacular concert halls, in the summertime open-air theaters, and in the bustling neighborhood art galleries. Greece is today, as it has been for thousands of years, an inspiring place to be. Greece offers the visitor and resident unlimited opportunities to explore the very roots of Western civilization. Throughout the country, there are hundreds of museums, archaeological sites, and monuments that detail the rise of art, architecture, crafts, design, ideas and thought.

Gastronomy The Mediterranean diet is a global brand that needs no introduction. There is nowhere on earth better suited for healthy, wholesome eating than Greece. Greece offers a bountiful array of raw ingredients and traditional products that will satisfy every foodie, and thrill every cook (a trip to a Greek farmers market is a joy for the senses). It doesn’t matter if you’re eating at a neighborhood “taverna", a traditional “ouzerie”, or in a Michelin-starred restaurant. From the freshest seafood to aromatic ground coffee, specialty olive oils to artisan cheeses, tempting patisseries to sumptuous yoghurts, eating and drinking well is not only one of the pleasures of living in Greece, it is also a pre-requisite. And, of course, whether they are harvested from the volcanic slopes of Santorini or the rich soils of Nemea, Greece’s globally celebrated wines are just one more gastronomic perk of the Hellenic life.

Lifestyle With 300+ days of sunshine per year, the climate in Greece makes living in this Mediterranean destination a year-round joy. Take a swim in the crystal clear Aegean before work. Play 18 holes at one of the nearby golf clubs in the afternoon. Or, if you need to escape it all, dash off to a luxurious spa for a little rest and relaxation. If that’s not enough, take advantage of other nearby options like yoga, tennis, hiking, sailing, skiing, rafting, biking, kite surfing and rock climbing—just to name a few. Afterhours, an endless array of restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment centers and cultural venues all contribute to a vibrant nightlife that is bursting with Mediterranean zeal, yet is uniquely Greek. And with a modern tourism infrastructure at your disposal, weekend getaways to some of the world’s most beautiful locales are a snap. Whatever you choose to do, healthy, joyful living is part and parcel of the Greek lifestyle.

Education Greece offers a wide variety of international educational options for expatriates, from pre-schools to universities—especially for students seeking studies in English, French, and German. Many high schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and have a good track record in placing students in prestigious universities, both in Greece and abroad. At the same time, many international universities offer unique educational programs in Greece for undergraduates and graduates alike.

Health Care Greece offers a very modern healthcare infrastructure and highly skilled physicians and specialists that have been trained in the world’s finest medical facilities. Many healthcare specialists speak English and are accustomed to treat foreign residents and visitors. Health care in Greece is provided by the National Healthcare Service and by the private sector. Workers in Greece must be insured through one of the national insurance funds and can also choose complementary private coverage.

Air The largest airports of the country are “Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport” in Athens and “Macedonia” in Thessaloniki. They are easily accessible by highway (private vehicle or taxi), bus, train, and metro service (in Athens). Other Greek airports also handle direct international flights from various foreign countries, by regular and special airlines (especially during the summer months), as well as charter flights. Many of the larger islands and Greek cities also have domestic airports.

Sea Greece offers a highly developed port and ferry network that connects all of the country’s islands as well as ports in other countries—predominantly in Italy. There are daily routes from Patras and Igoumenitsa to Italy, from the ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindizi, Venice and Trieste. Northern Greece is well connected to central and Northern European countries via the ferry routes to and from the port of Igoumenitsa.

Rail Greece’s railway network is approximately 2,500 km long, covering the greater part of the mainland and linking the country to Central Europe and Turkey. Intercity express trains allow for easy city-hopping.

Road Greece’s road network covers 117,000 kilometres. Following years of upgrades and modernisation, driving via the national highway network is now one of the easiest and most efficient ways to traverse the country. Intercity bus lines make it simple to get from point to point. The border crossing points for entering Greece by road from the neighboring Balkan countries are Exochi Drama and Promachonas Serres and Nymfaia Komotini for Bulgaria, Evzonoi Kilkis for FYROM, Kakavia in the Ioannina Prefecture for Albania and Kipoi Evrou for Turkey.

The Economy

The Greek economy, having achieved high growth rates until 2008, showed signs of recession in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, and from 2010 onwards the recession intensified considerably due to country’s fiscal imbalances. The need for consolidation led the country to embark on a trilateral mechanism of financial support, comprised of the EU, the IMF and the ECB. The restrictive income policy and drastic limitation on public expenses during the past three years have had a negative impact on GDP growth, leading to its decrease by 4.9% in 2010, 7.1% in 2011, and 6.4% in 2012 (constant prices of year 2005). For 2013, it is estimated that the decrease of GDP will continue at 4.4% (Εurostat, 02/13), while for 2014 the Greek economy is expected to return to growth rates of 0.6%. Reforms and restrictive policy implementations have already begun to bear positive results. The public deficit decreased by 30.8% in 2010, by 12% in 2011, and by 30.2% in 2012, compared with the previous year (not including the amounts allocated to the support of banks). The completion of PSI (Private Sector Involvement) in 2012 reduced the public debt from 170.3% of GDP in 2011 to 156.9% of GDP in 2012 (Eurostat, 2013), contributing in this way to creating a more stable macroeconomic framework. An improvement in the development trends of GDP is expected in 2014 through the acceleration of reforms aimed at the development of a more attractive investment and business environment, including liberalization of a number of markets, faster licensing procedures, the new Investment Law, flexibility in the labour market, and a reduction in the cost of production factors due to the crisis. It is estimated that this year the decrease of GDP will end and there will be a return of the Greek economy to positive growth. Major Economic Indicators 2009




GDP (Constant prices 2005)





Inflation: Annual Average





Inflation: Percentage Change December to December





Labour Productivity (EU-27=100)**




Unemployment Rate


12.5 %

17.7 %

Public Investments (%GDP)**





Exports (Goods – Current Prices)*





Imports (Goods – Current Prices)*




*billion Euro ** Source: Eurostat Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority, 2012

n.a. 24.2 %


Investment In 2012, fixed capital formation in Greece reached 25.5 billion Euro at constant prices of the previous year, showing a decrease of 19 % compared with the levels of 2011 (31.5 billion Euro). This decrease is due to the drastic reduction of public expenses and the restrictive fiscal policy resulting from the economic crisis in Greece. Despite the domestic crisis of public debt and Greece’s inclusion in the IMFEU - ECB support mechanism, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was at relatively satisfactory levels in Greece during 2011, and further increased in 2012, exhibiting stabilizing trends. More specifically, total capital inflows in the country in 2011 amounted to 2,781 million Euro, and in 2012 amounted to 2,942 million Euro, showing an increase of 5.8%. Despite the economic crisis the net FDI inflow in Greece also showed a significant increase of 179% between 2011 and 2012, from the low levels of 822 million Euro in 2011 to 2.3 billion Euro in 2012. This sharp increase is mainly due to the review of 2011 volumes in which the losses of the foreign companies in Greece were integrated as negative reinvested earnings, according to the methodology of OECD and UNCTAD.

However, undoubtedly the volume of net FDI inflow in 2012 was at relatively high levels, despite the intense economic crisis during this year.

International trade The export of Greek goods during 2012 showed a significant increase for the third consecutive year, reaching 27.6 billion Euro, up from 24.3 billion Euro in 2011. This increase is due to the reduction of the price of goods, intermediate goods, and production factors, as a result of the domestic economic crisis, which make Greek products more competitive, and due to the exploration of foreign markets by Greek entrepreneurs. Imports to Greece in 2012 amounted to 49.2 billion Euro whereas in 2011 they reached 48.4 billion Euro. Export growth in 2012, with imports remaining at the levels of the previous year, has resulted in the further reduction of the trade deficit of Greece.

Foreign Direct Investment


Despite the severe economic crisis Greece has been facing since 2010, the country's performance in attracting foreign investment in 2012 was satisfactory in comparison to the previous year. Total (gross) capital inflows to the country in 2012 amounted to 2.9 billion Euro, while net inflows reached 2.3 billion Euro.

Inflows of FDI in Greece during the period 2003-2012 (in million Euro)

2010, 2011: Revised Data, 2012: Provisional Data Source: Bank of Greece 2013

Investment capital by country of origin Countries with a strong investment presence in Greece in recent years include 'traditional' capital exporting countries such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy, while the presence of Cyprus is important as well. Total FDI inflows by country of origin of capital during the period 2003-2012 (in million Euro)

Total Value: 40,652.2 million Euro Source: Bank of Greece 2013

Key features Investment activity in Greece originates primarily from companies from important markets such as the EU. Although significant, the U.S. presence is still relatively low, which is partly due to the fact that investment activity of U.S. companies is realised in Greece “indirectly� through subsidiaries in other countries, usually in European states. Undoubtedly the relatively low level of investment from the U.S. suggests the existence of significant investment potential which can be activated. Promising prospects exist in the near future in attracting FDI from Russia and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, other Arab countries and Asia, particularly China, that are mainly interested in the energy, telecommunications, tourism, transport and logistics sectors.

Sectoral breakdown of foreign investment FDI inflows by sector of economic activity in Greece in recent years focused primarily in the tertiary sector, followed, with a significant margin, by the secondary sector. The majority of developed countries shows a similar structure of FDI. Total FDI inflows by sector of economic activity for the period 2003-2012

Total value: 40,652.2 million Euro Source: Bank of Greece 2013

Key features Focus of FDI in services. This trend was dictated primarily by the development of the country's financial system, the liberalization of telecommunications, and the stimulation of trade. The proportion of the secondary sector is relatively low compared with the potential of the country, a trend that suggests considerable scope for investment. The search for hydrocarbons in Greek territory is expected to play an important role in investment activity.


A. Manufacturing Manufacturing sectors with significant investor interest over the period 2003-2012 include chemicals, food & beverage, machinery and metal products. Structure of total FDI inflows in manufacturing in the period 2003-2012

Total Value: 10,213.9 million Euro Source: Bank of Greece 2013

Key features The concentration of investment activity in these areas favors the establishment of new businesses (Greenfield Investments) in Greece, as well as the investment cooperation of foreign companies with Greek companies in order to produce end products that meet the needs of domestic and international markets. Food products and machinery are the sectors that experienced an important increase in 2012 compared with the previous year.

B. Services Service sectors with significant investor interest over the period 2003-2012 include telecommunications, financial services, trade and tourism. Structure of total FDI inflows in services during the period 2003-2012

Total value: 27,920.6 million Euro Source: Bank of Greece 2013

Key features There is considerable scope for further development of foreign investment activity in the tourism sector. Sectors that showed a significant increase in 2012 compared with the previous year are: financial institutions, trade and tourism.

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN GREECE: CURRENTLY A CHALLENGE Real estate has traditionally been a safe haven investment in Greece. With the development industry being the back spine of the economy, bigger trust of people in real estate compared to more modern investment alternatives, such as stocks and bonds, led to a constant rise of real estate prices for a couple of decades. Strong growth in property prices were experienced in Greece after the 2004 Athens Olympics. Similar to Spain, the house price boom in Greece ended because of the global crisis. Financing for house purchases of foreigners dried up with the credit crunch, due to the global financial meltdown. Economic recession in UK, Germany and other countries also forced homeowners to sell their properties; this led to an oversupply that dampened house prices. Domestic demand also dropped significantly thereafter. Building permits fell considerably. From 2004 to 2007, around 70,000 to 80,000 residential building permits were issued annually. The number of building permits dropped to 65,474 in 2008 and to 56,205 in 2009. After registering strong annual price increases of averaging 13% in 2005 and 2006, dwellings prices rose by a mere 3.8% in 2007 and 2.6% in 2008. In 2009, the average price dropped by around 1.8%. The drop in building permits continued in Q1 2010, as the country entered a period of prolonged recession. Only 12,690 permits were issued for instance, from January to March 2010, 2.8% lower compared to the same period in 2009. •In 2008, residential property prices fell by 0.77% (-3.57% inflation-adjusted) •In 2009, house prices fell by 4.21% (-6.04% inflation-adjusted) •In 2010, house prices dropped 5.83% (-10.4% inflation-adjusted) •In 2011, residential property prices plunged 8% (-10.49% inflation-adjusted) •In 2012, house prices plummeted by 13.1% (-14.08% inflation-adjusted) The general price level of real estate in Greece fell by a cumulative rate of around 40% during the period of the crisis. The Greek economy is now facing its sixth year of recession. It is expected to contract by another 4.2% during 2013. However and most important, the financial crisis in Greece seems to be nearing its end. The economy is expected to balance in 2014 and according to many analysts, the country is expected to return to growth, even at a slow pace (optimistic forecasts range between 0.6% and 1%).

Two major leading indicators of the Greek economy support this forecast:

The yield of the 10year Government Bond has deescalated significantly, dropping from 36% (February 2012) to well below 10%.

The General Index of the Athens Stock Market has risen by an impressive 150%, since June 2012.

It is expected that the successful implementation of the government’s privatization program and plans to put public property to more efficient use will provide impetus to the recovery of the real estate market and the economy in general. To revive the ailing housing market, the Greek government has recently offered residence permit to non-EU investors purchasing or renting property worth over ₏250,000. The residence plan, which is similar to measures adopted by Cyprus, Spain and Portugal, is valid for five years and open to renewal. The recovery prospects in the real estate market depend, inter alia, on improving business' and households' expectations, improving bank financing conditions, containing uncertainty, boosting the recovery prospects of the Greek economy, finalizing the taxation framework and reducing tax burdens on real estates. Resolving the significant problems that hinder public property development, with priority given to tackling legal and technical issues relating to urban planning and permits issuance, is certain to create significant surplus values for public property and, above all, contribute to attracting foreign investors to the Greek real estate market, with additional growth benefits for local communities and economies. It is very important to obtain successful results in the tenders to be held in the coming months, as they are expected to reverse the negative climate and trigger the interest of international investors. Accelerated pace and transparency in the relevant procedures will convey the proper message to interested investors and markets that the Greek State is convincingly proceeding with the development of its property. Another presumed positive factor is that the mandatory involvement of lawyers in real estate contracts will be fully abolished as from 2014.

Greece’s political stability in the last year along with the significant price drop in property prices have increased the appetite of foreign buyers. Real estate agencies and property advisors survey, shows a stabilization trend of market conditions in both housing and commercial properties, while requests from foreign buyers for Greek properties have shown a definite increase in the past summer (2013). In Greece, investors now find a wide spectrum of opportunities, an improved environment for new investments, and of course, some of the most beautiful locations in the world. Unique opportunities exist such as the famous Greek Islands, which naturally remain among the most special and desirable places on earth or beach front properties in general. Greece has more than 15,000 kilometers of coastline, 190,000 beaches, and 6,000 islands and islets. Collectively, Greece can offer to visitors but also to property investors a wide range of real estate, from rocky outcrops to holiday apartments in world renowned holiday resorts, which are now more affordable for investors. Foreigners have always been looking for Real Estate opportunities on Greek Islands; they like the sun, they love the beaches and now they can afford to buy a house on the Greek island of their choice. The biggest interest is shown, according to real estate offices, from Germans, Austrians, Swiss, British and Russians. Chinese and Russian investors are showing increased interest in acquiring properties in Greece, according to a report by a large real estate agency, on the course of the property market in the first six months of the year. The Chinese and the Russians are motivated by the legal clause offering them a five-year residence permit if they invest at least 250,000 Euros in the Greek property market, as the daily newspaper “Kathimerini� and international media, like Bloomberg and Newsweek, note. Yet the same real estate agency also records a recently increased interest on the part of British buyers. A new element is that, on the contrary of what would happen previously, buyers are looking not only for houses for personal use, but also as an investment opportunity. The types of buyers have also changed; millionaires are interested as well as international hotel chains and cruise companies. In addition, the interest is not limited only to houses, but expands to land as well.

The recession seems to be bottoming out, now is the best moment to invest in real estate in Greece What are the reasons for an investor to choose Greek properties? Greece features sound infrastructure: • 45 airports 15 of which are international • 520 ports, 12 of which are international • 680 km Egnatia Motorway on the North connects Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea • Attiki Odos ring road in Athens, awarded by International Road Federation Rio Antirrio bridge connecting Peloponnese with Central Greece • Athens International Airport a successful PPP project

Supporting success: The 2004 Olympic Games proved to be a catalyst for widespread infrastructure development and an improved tourism infrastructure. • Building costs are going down because of the decline in investment in construction. The recent decline in construction activity has led to increased unemployment in Greece, but for developers this translates into finding workers at more attractive wages. • Historical data show that real estate pays better than all other investments in Greece. • The sector proved quite resilient even during the current crisis. Despite strong decline in construction activity and transactions, the correction in prices was relatively moderate.

Real Estate has long been a pillar of the Greek economy. More than 400,000 people work in property-related sectors in Greece, about 9% of total employment. Household wealth held in residential real estate is valued to be in the range of 5.2 times GDP, compared with 4.5 times GDP for the Euro zone as a whole. Owner occupancy is more than 80% in Greece and real estate has proved to the best investment, on average, in terms of return, compared with the stock market and bank deposits.

New public and private projects are under way. There are a number of major new projects that are up or coming up for international tender. To capitalize on its real estate assets, Greece is launching a new initiative for the efficient management of public real estate assets, and is offering new concessions for land plots available for tourism development. State owned real estate assets, estimated to be valued at €300 bln, largely unexploited up to now, are going to bring new liquidity to the market. The deal of the state privatization fund TAIPED with “Eurobank Properties” and “Pangaia” for the sale and leaseback of 28 public buildings will bring as much as 261.31 million euros into state coffers. The 28 buildings were split into two groups, with the first portfolio going to Pangaia, a National Bank subsidiary, for 115.5 million euros, while the second went to Eurobank Properties for 145.81 million euros.

There are new opportunities in the private sector. The private sector is marked by a variety of diverse characteristics that are yielding specific opportunities. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH) for example, which has seen its 2011 investment in Ireland’s biggest bank jump about 50 percent, is now focusing on Greece, betting that the worst has passed for the recession-battered economy. Fairfax will invest about 164 million euros in Eurobank Properties Real Estate Investment Co. (EUPRO) as part of a share capital increase, bringing the Toronto-based firm’s stake in the Greek property company to 42 percent from 19 percent. Fairfax Financial also holds a 7.7 stake in Sarantis SA (SAR), a distributor of cosmetics and household goods and a 5.4 percent stake in Jumbo SA (BELA), Greece’s biggest toy and baby products retailer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "This financial deal will reform Eurobank Properties, allowing the company to play a leading role in the privatization process of public property" states Nikos Karamouzis, Deputy Executive Director of Eurobank. • Up to 20 million visitors per year create a wide pool of potential real estate investors in Greece. According to a Deloitte research, there is a potential market for demand of 1 million private residences. Tourism holds a prominent position in Greek economy. It represents 17% of National GDP and almost 20% of employment. • According to the ‘International Retirement Directory’ of Daily Telegraph, Greece is among the top five most favored destinations for British and other North European citizens to buy a holiday home. • Rising demand for holiday homes brings out investment opportunities in Greece. • Living costs in Greece remain generally lower than other EU countries. • Greece has a unique past, it is a country full of archaeological treasures. • The country features spectacular landscapes with pristine beaches and iconic mountains. • Greece’s mild climate is ideal for year-round (Average of 300 sunshine days per year) • Mediterranean cuisine-diet (life expectancy at 79,66 years-old, 26th position in the world), in the country that gave birth to symposiums and the Epicurean philosophers. • Greece is a global brand, a timeless destination. It was the 4th most popular tourist destination in the European Union for the year 2010, according to the Euro barometer poll. • Greece holds in 2010 the 2nd place among 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean, in the European Blue Flag Program with 421 beaches and 9 marinas. Greece was among top 10 destinations for 2010 (Lonely Planet Best Travel 2010). • Unique location between Europe, Africa, and Asia, make Greece easily accessible.

Summing up, excellent Mediterranean climate, history, civilization, sun, sea in a now stable economic and legal environment, make real estate investment in Greece today a true opportunity for private investors of any scale. Following the Government’s recent turn towards an open and more competitive market, large parts of land can be used for development projects such as shopping centers, hotel facilities, power plants and several other major factors that can attract investors’ attention, while building costs have radically fallen because of the decline in private construction. Ιt is recommended to overseas investors to grasp the tremendous opportunities now, before the demand for property rises again, as it is expected to gradually occur in 2014.

Of course, as goes for all markets, early positioning is vital for profiting.







3683 1,110,312


1.4 19.4 79.2

INVESTMENT INCENTIVES ZONE Β / State aid 30%-40% More specifically, for Large Enterprises 30%, Medium-size enterprises 35%, Small and micro enterprises 40% INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORTATION: AIRPORTS: PORTS:

Thessaloniki Airport “Macedonia” YES









Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city. Located on the Thermaic Gulf in northern Greece, it is a busy port city that boasts an attractive waterfront promenade, beautiful parks, and many museums. Home of Alexander the Great and the heart of the ancient Hellenistic empire, the city is also the site of a rich Roman heritage and the finest collection of Byzantine churches in Greece. Named after the king’s wife, Alexander the Great’s half-sister, the port city was of strategic importance, military and commercially, both to Rome and Byzantium. Its former authority can still be seen in the numerous Roman monuments and Byzantine churches, standing within the old city walls. In fact, a visit to Thessaloniki is a unique opportunity to review a thousand years of Byzantine architecture. However, the event that most determined Thessaloniki’s present appearance, was the great fire of 1917, which wiped out most of its picturesque Levantine districts. Since 1950, it has become a truly modern European city with thriving commerce and industry, a population of some 900,000 inhabitants, a major university, and an international trade fair that has made substantial contributions to the Greek economy. Its tree-lined streets, spacious piazzas, sidewalk cafes and fine restaurants invite the visitor to relax after a shopping spree in fashionable neighbourhoods where leather goods, furs and jewellery offer particularly good value. No one should miss viewing the finds from the royal tombs in Vergina at the Archaeological Museum, while the culturally minded will also find numerous art galleries, concerts and theatres, as well as the Music Hall of Thessaloniki. Cultural life peaks in October with a month-long festival, the “Demetria” (Protector Saint of Thessaloniki is St. Demetrios). Thessaloniki is served by Macedonia International Airport (SKG) for international and domestic flights. The airport lies 15 km southeast of the city centre and is connected directly with multiple national and international destinations. The airport is served by a 24-hour bus line. As soon as the visitor steps outside the plane, he will sense the historic vibes mixed with the vivacious modernity of everyday life. The best way to discover the fascinating Thessaloniki Center is with down town walking excursions. Every step will lead you through the history of ancient Macedonia, mystique Northern Greece, the famous White Tower, the fashionable shopping area of Tsimiski Street and the picturesque Aristotelous square, where you can rest and enjoy your coffee or a snack, right at the center of the beautiful city. Moments away from some of the most beautiful sites in Greece, Thessaloniki offers the chance to visit historical monuments such as the White Tower, the Rotonda Monument, the National Theatre of Northern Greece and the Garden Theatre. There is so much history blended in this contemporary town, that the visitor cannot but be mesmerized by the sights and smells as he strolls around the centre of the second largest city in Greece. As the day comes to an end, he can rest in one of the many colourful and vibrant cafes on Aristotelous square, or relax in the beautiful park under the shadow of the White Tower. Moreover he can visit the Archeological Museum that features amazing exhibits from the city of Thessaloniki as well as the general Macedonia region. Macedonia artefacts and archaic sculptures will captivate him, as he enters a world of history and power. On a more contemporary note, he can visit the Helexpo Convention Centre. Viewed from an economic aspect, Thessaloniki is a city with great potential, due to its port and geographic location, that provides vicinity with all major cities in the Balkans, but also major holiday destinations, like Halkidiki.





17,161 Euro 0.8


5.4 16.5 78.1

3254 105,908

INVESTMENT INCENTIVES ZONE Β / State aid 30%-40% More specifically, for Large Enterprises 30%, Medium-size enterprises 35%, Small and micro enterprises 40% INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORTATION: AIRPORTS: PORTS:








Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority

The enchanting peninsula of Halkidiki, reminiscent of Poseidon's trident, is located south of Thessaloniki and consists of three smaller peninsulas; Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. The nearest airport is the Thessaloniki International Airport – “Macedonia” (an average of one hour’s drive from the various areas of Halkidiki). Halkidiki has a variety and diversity, which will satisfy even the most demanding visitors. Flavourful areas offering traditional cooking can be found in all the architecturally magnificent villages, along with idyllic bays and small islands, stunning archaeological sites and a unique cave. There is also an exciting nightlife, beaches that seem to stretch forever and turquoise waters. Archaeologists will lose themselves into examining civilisations stone-by-stone in Olynthos, Stagira, Petralona cave, Potidaia and Toroni. Romantic visitors will aimlessly wander the vast expanses of sandy beaches and traditional alleys, while the active types will enjoy all kinds of water sports on the beaches of Halkidiki, as well as biking or trekking in Mt Holomondas. Kassandra is at the westernmost tip of Halkidiki, close to Thessaloniki. Entering into Kassandra makes quite an impression, as it is connected to Halkidiki through the bridge at Nea Potidea, the first village visitors encounter. In fact, the Kassandra peninsula is an island separated from the mainland by the Potidea canal, which offers a spectacular panoramic view, especially at sunset. Sithonia is the second peninsula of Halkidiki. The rugged, exciting landscape of this middle prong appeals to nature lovers and holiday makers seeking refuge from the trappings of civilization. The coastline is attractively varied - a succession of fishermen's hamlets, picturesque little harbors, deserted beaches of all sizes surrounded by trees and bushes. Sithonia is decidedly a symphony in blue and green. Mount Athos (Agion Oros) is the last prong. Civilization has not intruded into the Holly Mountain, which is inhabited solely by monks. Rising majestically out of the sea to a height of 2,033 m, Athos is covered with virgin forests and its physical beauty is almost overwhelming. The magnificent peninsula has been the sole province of men dedicated to the worship of God and the Virgin for well over a thousand years. In 885, the Byzantine emperor Basil I, proclaimed it the exclusive domain of monks and hermits. The traveller can arrive to Halkidiki by plane using the airport "Makedonia" of Thessaloniki city using various flights from different European cities. After arriving at the airport, he can use the bus routs, taxi or rent a car. Halkidiki offers a lot of opportunities to explore its beautiful places from the sea. The tourist can charter a boat or a speed-boat (for 2-6 persons) and discover the sandy beaches, the emerald coloured waters, the hidden bays and the small island Ammouliani. Moreover he can meet members of the local wine union for a wine tasting and strolling through mountains, forests, vineyards, gardens and fruit fields. Lots of villages in Halkidiki have their own architectural style, with old stone-built houses, coming straight from previous centuries. It is a really unique experience to stroll down the cobblestone alleys, smelling the flowers that are everywhere and relax at one of the traditional taverns. Excursions from Halkidiki include also a visit in Petralona cave, a cruise from the first leg to the second and vice versa or a daily trip to Holomondas, the mountainous part of Halkidiki. It is worth mentioning that arrivals of Russian tourists have increased in 2013 by over 10%. The unprecedented increase in arrivals of Russian tourists in the month of June 2013 reached 42.1% compared to last year. The number of Russian tourists reached 80.145 in the first month of summer, while last year in the same period it was approximately 56.400. Due to its key geographical position, Halkidiki is also visited by a great number of tourists from the neighbouring Balkan countries.






2111 138,687


16,578 Euro 1.0


5.2 20.1 74.6

INVESTMENT INCENTIVES ZONE C / State aid 40%-50% More specifically, for Large Enterprises 40%, Medium-size enterprises 45%, Small and micro enterprises 50% INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORTATION: AIRPORTS: PORTS:

Kavala Airport “Megas Alexandros” YES







Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority

The Prefecture of Kavala is a pole of attraction for the tourist, for its 2.500 years of history, the harmonious coexistence of modern with the old, the combination of the mountain with the sea, the varied cultural events, which are held in modern and ancient theatres and the chances for several excursions to such places as the bright green island of Thassos and the archaeological area of Filippi. The prefecture of Kavala is situated in the centre of East Macedonia. It is only 100 km away from Thessaloniki with easy access by car or bus. In addition, the airport of Alexander the Great (27 km from Kavala) is connected with Athens by regularly scheduled flights and with many European cities by scheduled and charter flights. The strategic and economic importance of Kavala over the centuries is attributed to its strategic position in Via Egnatia, which traversed the city connecting East and West, to its port and to the natural fortification of the peninsula, on which the old city was built. Kavala is stretched between the Nestos River from the east and Strimonas River from the west. From the south, Kavala is bordered by the Aegean Sea including the islands of Thassos and Thassopoula. Thassos is surrounded by the blue waters of the North Aegean and is only 6 nautical miles away from Kavala. All over the island, its natural and amazing beaches are a challenge to the visitors' senses and a binding promise of enjoyment. Access to Thasos, the so called “emerald island�, is unimpeded, as there are many daily connections by ferry-boat from Kavala and Keramoti (30 ferry schedules every day). Mt. Ypsario with its lush vegetation, reveals itself as the visitor approaches it among the villages built around it, cool streams, tracks suitable for trekking, climbing, horseback riding and four-wheel drives, mountain biking and enduro bikes. It is a unique experience for someone to visit all mountainous villages, such as Theologos, Panagia, Potamia, Maries, Kallirachi, Sotiros, Kazaviti, to see the unique ecosystem of Genna Lake, overhanging the village of Maries, as well as the monasteries of Archangelos, Panagouda in Maries and St Panteleimon in Kazaviti and to taste the local dishes, made with pure products encountered in the land of Thassos. The rich nature of Thassos, the mild climate, and the agricultural occupations of many residents have inspired events that take place on the island every year. These cultural events are uniquely connected to local customs and traditions which Thassians have passed down over many generations. Local culture clubs hold various events throughout the year, especially during the summer months. The Philippi-Thasos festival in the ancient theatres of Philippi and Thasos is an important event that takes place every year. Philippi was established by Phillip II in 356 BC and was abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest. The present municipality Philippi is located near the ruins of the ancient city near Kavala being part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. According to the new Testament, in AD 49 or 50, the city was visited by the apostle Paul. Very important date was the year 49 or 50 AD, when the Apostle Paul visited Philippi and founded the first Christian church in Europe. This made the new city metropolis of Christianity. His development of Christianity in Philippi is indicated by a letter from Polycarp of Smyrna addressed to the community in Philippi around AD 160 and by funerary inscriptions.

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