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Because I know that the ET community loves this stuff. Some idea of where one could follow the money to, if one were so inclined:

...Existential issues aside, Greece faces a $43 billion funding gap by next year.

That's about the same amount that has gone offshore since the start of 2010, Greek treasury officials say.

Much of that money has found its way into London's real estate market where agents like Panos Koutsogiannakis have seen surge in interest from Greek investors.

"We've had a steady stream of enquiries all of this year," Koutsogiannakis, a Greek-Australian, tells me from the London offices of realtor Hyde Park Agencies.

"Most are cash buyers and some haven't even seen the properties before. I have one client transacting on a $1.3 million flat which they haven't ever seen."

Koutsogiannakis says his average Greek client is spending between $1.2 million and $2.4 million on apartments in some of the most expensive areas in the British capital, like Knightsbridge and Mayfair.

Four doors along, realtor Stephen Kalogroulis of Hellas Helvetia says he is getting up to 20 enquiries a week.

He tells me the parlous state of Greece's economy is "a standard conversation" he has with Greek investors on a near daily basis.

"They want to talk about it all of the time," he says.

"They want to talk about how the property market has collapsed, how there are no jobs."

There may be a dearth of employment opportunities in Greece but the boom in demand for Greek speakers is attracting young workers to London in droves.

"Loads of people are coming over here and they'll take anything they can get," says Kalogroulis.

"We advertised for a lettings agent four weeks ago and we got 25 enquiries from Greece. Normally we would get only one or two."

Kalogroulis eventually filled the post last week, hiring a civil servant from Athens who has now moved to the UK.



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Jun 3rd, 2011 at 07:41:07 PM EST

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