Homes, building plots, agricultural land, and stores will be among the categories of assets that will be auctioned off online in 2018, often at rock bottom prices, to satisfy debts to the tax bureau.

For the first time, there will be online auctions of primary residences not only for debts to banks, but also for debts to the tax bureau and insurance funds.

Local tax bureaus this year are expected to ratchet up the pressure on over four million taxpayers with overdue debts.

Aim of doubling online auctions in 2018

Greece’s creditors have demanded that Athens double the number of online seizures of bank accounts of taxpayers who do not appear to arrange their debts in instalments, so that the overall debt of about 100 billion euros can be lowered.

Online auctions will be extended in a bill that the government is expected to table in parliament on 8 January, as has been agreed to with creditors.

The government must complete by the end of this month a study of the repercussions on public finances of allowing individuals to pay overdue debt to the tax office in many instalments, and electronically.

Tensions expected at courthouse auctions

On site auctions at neighbourhood lower courts, which have often been the object of violent protests by solidarity groups supporting those losing their homes, will continue, until the full transition to the online auction system, which will use the same electronic platform as that used by banks, is completed.

The government’s objective is by spring to have the majority of seized properties to be auctioned off online.

The first on site auctions of the year at lower courts is scheduled for 10 January, and a backlash is expected from protest groups.

It will be the first time that new tougher penalties will be instituted under a new law passed by parliament in December, at the behest of the country’s lenders.