Tag Archives: petitions

Socialise Housing across Europe!

The worsening housing problems in European cities are an important part of the general EU crisis. The EU treaties guarantee the free movement of capital (Art. 26 & 63 TFEU), the free competition of undertakings (Art. 107 TFEU) and the restriction of public budgets (Stability and Growth Pact, European Fiscal Compact).

Without a strong social counterpart, these constitutional principles protect and promote the abuse of property for the construction of globally traded financial assets.

Housing, however, is a basic need for everybody and thus a human right that is protected by international law. As far as the treatment of houses as financial assets threatens its affordability, accessibility, security of tenure, adequacy or habitability, the EU-member states are morally and legally obliged to control and socialise property for the benefits of their people. If the framework of the EU prohibits such social regulating, it becomes an institutional challenge to human rights. We want the opposite. We want the EU to become an internal and external stimulator, promoter and guarantor of the right of every person to have a secure, decent and affordable place to live.

For too long many people in Europe have endured the systematic abuse of land, homes, infrastructures and budgets for the increase of private profits, whilst those engaging in social action to protect the right to housing have found themselves on the defensive. There are hopeful examples, however, of successful emancipatory popular struggles for radical social changes in the housing system. In Berlin, for instance, a popular grassroots initiative is currently initiating a referendum for the expropriation of houses owned by landlords who own more than 3,000 apartments and the socialisation of their properties into democratic public entities. But the struggle cannot be won as long as it remains fragmented and only reduced to local and regional levels.

The housing crisis will never be overcome, unless the following policy changes are made:

  1. The adoption of the international right to housing as a fundamental duty of all EU institutions, member states and business and the concrete implementation of this basic human right in the form of a European housing strategy.
  2. Allowing, guaranteeing and supporting publicly regulated segments of democratic not-for-profit housing for broad strata of the population outside EU competition rules and financial capital flows.
  3. An EU-framework that allows, encourages and supports the strict social regulation of profit-oriented private landlords, market rents, land markets, mortgages, transparency, facility services and the consequences of mortgage default.
  4. Protecting, encouraging and supporting the engagement and organisation of tenants and other inhabitants for their rights and the needed structural changes in housing, land and real estate.

Support the decentralized European Housing Action DayTogether against displacement and #Mietenwahnsinn” on 6 April 2019!

First signatories:

Bond Precaire Woonvormen and Globalinfo (Netherlands), MieterInnenverein Witten (Tenant Union Witten, Germany), Habita! (Lisbon),  Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM, Belgium), Union Antiauctions Initiative and Stop Auctions (Greece), Observatori DESC (Barcelona)


Petition: Stop the Privatisation of the former Athens Airport



On Feb 27, 2014 the submission of offers to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) for the ‘valorisation’ of the former Elliniko airport and the seafront of Agios Kosmas was completed. This is of public land of 6.204 acres, the very last remaining large, free and unbuilt space in the entire Athens—and now it is planned to be privatised for 99 years in order to be exploited.

From the official announcement it appears that after all potential investors dropped out of the competition, the only ‘competing’ company remaining is Lamda Development, which is owned by the Latsis conglomerate.

According to Law 4062/2012, the so-called ‘investor’ is allowed to build constructions of 1.7 million sq. meters, even by the sea and by the archaeological site of Agios Kosmas, which is partly underwater.

According to the information that was ‘leaked’ to mass media, Lamda Development intends to construct, in Elliniko airport and Agios Kosmas beach, shopping malls, a casino, hotels, luxurious accommodations and a ‘park’ which will not be public but an attachment to the entire investment.

In order to achieve social consensus for the promoted ‘development’ model, which ignores the destruction of the natural and cultural environment, Lamda Development promises ‘the immediate creation of tens of thousands of work positions’ mocking the hundreds of thousands of unemployed people in our country. Obviously the aim should be not some temporary or less temporary work placements but work positions that respect the workers with decent salaries.

Moreover, according to the ‘leaked’ information, the price for this public land is not going to be higher than 0,5 billion euro and it is going to be paid in many installments over 15 years in total. It is clear that we are dealing with a sell-off, fundamentally all this land is handed over to Lamda for free. Especially given that the Greek state is obliged to cover the construction cost of necessary infrastructures for the new ‘investment’ and the further cost for the relocation of the various public services/buildings that are operating now within the old airport. The total cost for these activities is well above 0,5 billion euros.

All of us signing this text state that it is not possible for us to agree with the plans for the sell-off and the further build-up of the site of the former Elliniko Airport and the Saronikos seafront. Even more so, when whatever financial gain might come out of this privatisation will be entirely unimportant and will end up in the vortex of the “debt” of the country.

It is not possible for us to agree with private investors at any price, we do not concede to hand over to anyone our right to free access to the Saronikos beaches, we do not accept the wiping out of the last unbuilt large site in Greater Athens.

Elliniko must remain a space that is free, public, and of common use and to be utilised for the creation of a Metropolitan Park of high green density, for meeting the real social needs for entertainment, sports and culture, for the environmental upgrading and for the dealing with environmental and climate change in Greater Athens. Already last January, a call-out was made in Geneva for a European-wide campaign to save Elliniko, the seafront of Saronikos, of Hymettus mount and for their transformation into  a European pole of “culture”.

The beaches, the seafronts, the archaeological sites comprise public goods. Elliniko comprises a public good. Elliniko is not to be haggled, it is not to be handed over to anyone, it will not be parceled out, it is not for sale.


“Struggle Committee for the Metropolitan Park in Elliniko”


 Contact us at: parkoellinikou@gmail.com