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Yachts at Glyfada port (Image by Simisa)

Where are Greece’s Wealthy?

As difficult negotiations continue in Brussels, Greece’s wealthy citizens are keeping low or getting ready to leave the country.

Another day of meetings between Greece and the Eurogroup continues with no clear compromise in sight.

Caught up in the uncertainty of what will happen to their assets, rich Greeks are keeping a low profile. Premium real estate agent Theo Bosdas told NBC News earlier this week that most luxurious property remains hidden from sight.

“Instead of strolling around Kyfissia (a wealthy suburb of Athens) in a Porsche or Ferrari, they will have included in their fleet something more acceptable, like an Audi,” he said.

Faced with the uncertainty of their currency’s future, wealthy Greek homeowners are also choosing to rent rather than buy, further destabilizing the property market.

Meanwhile, the passport-issuing offices in Athens’s prosperous suburbs are overwhelmed. Many wealthy Greeks want to be ready – if not to flee the country, then at least to have the possibility of securing their capital elsewhere.

At the same time, high-end tourism seems to flourish unaffected. Long queues at ATMs, desperation over lost pensions – the common image of Greece over the past two weeks differs from the scenes on the popular holiday island of Mykonos.

Greece’s party island, famous for its gay scene and spotting the odd celebrity on the beach, has been spared from the crisis, for now. Tourists enjoy the beaches and nightlife without trouble. Foreign credit cards are accepted in most shops, and the ATMs are still full – at least those on the luxury cruise ships.

A majority of people in Greece’s wealthy regions have voted “yes” in last week’s referendum on the Eurozone’s bailout conditions.

 

See more:

Greece bailout meeting “extraordinarily difficult”

 

Elisabeth Brahier

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