reAKT – Aktion against Repression hielt auf der Demo zum Housing Action Day am 27.3.2021 diese Rede:
The necessity of a social housing plan in Greece and in Europe in general is crucial.
Given the difficulties of local communities to support housing rent during, but also before
the pandemic, we can all appreciate that a central housing plan without privatisation is a
positive change and a vision that could bring stability in many peoples‘ lives.
The issue of housing is not one that affects only those who have lost a home. It is an
issue which also affects those who never had a roof over their head to begin with, and
those whom the Greek State neglected and abandoned. Refugees who manage to
survive the perilousness of the Mediterranean sea, are placed in horrible camps with the
support of the EU. And with most of the dozens of self-organised refugee housing
projects in Greece now evicted, the flicker of hope once present amongst the vast
darkness of the EU’s institutional racism, now struggles to stay alight.
In Greece we notice the phenomenon of roofless and homeless people in large scales as
well as inadequate and insecure housing. The percentage is not clear, since there is also a
lack of recorded statistics to define the problem. During the economic crisis in Greece
this percentage raised significantly, without any national strategy to fight homelessness
and housing exclusion.
Simultaneously, the majority of local tenants in Greece have to spend around 40% of their
salary to support an expensive renting system which has worsened tremendously over
the last decade, reaching new heights with the help of Airbnb, at a huge cost to urban
Citizens are driven to new levels of desperation due to a constant instability. In
addition, the invasion of foreign capital, who buy flats in order to present „cheap
holiday apartments to rent!,“ cater to the tourism industry whilst leaving locals
homeless. Even the Golden Visa can be easily acquired by individuals of any
nationality; as long as the minimum amount of the buyer’s real estate investment is
€250,000. This process of gentrification also coincides with extreme state repression,
which is based on the defamation of entire areas.
But how can one even own a flat when your monthly basic income is merely 500€?
This leads to the realisation that Greece can be a haven of money laundering for real
estate businesses, with power given yet again to the rich and the privileged.
Furthermore energy poverty is presenting itself as another imminent threat to people, with
many houses being cut off from electricity and heating, simply because no one can afford
it. Many have turned to the solution of burning whatever material they can get their hands
on, so as to keep warm during the cold days. As a result, at least 29 deaths due
to asphyxiation were reported during the winter of 2019-20.
A new social housing plan is what could bring stability and solutions to these
Everyone should have the right to safe housing, and this can only be achieved through
the expropriation of buildings, and citizen collectives coming together in solidarity
organising themselves massively for the common well being and not for land privatisation.
Safe housing is a fundamental human right.