Athens: pensioner thrown out of her own house for a debt of 15,000 euros

The police, in the presence of a bailiff, broke down the front door of the house of journalist Ioanna Colova at 5:30 am on Monday, and threw the pensioner and her son out into the street.

An apartment in the Athens suburb of Ilissia was put up for electronic auction in March 2022 for a credit card debt of around 15,000 euros. It was purchased by a private individual through a fund for an undisclosed amount, but apparently no more than the amount owed. “They came with a power saw and broke the door, the bailiff pushed me hard and hurt my hand, which is now swollen,” Kolova told reporters. News247.

Video of the eviction: the moment the police break down the door

She complained that she was not allowed to enter the house. “I have health problems and they told me to go to the toilet next to the neighbors,” she complained.

“I saw a police car at 5:30 in the morning, and at 6:30, along with a bailiff, they broke down the door without even ringing the bell. They kicked me out,” she added. “I have no other home, I have nothing. My child will soon join the army. I have no idea what to do, I am desperate,” said Kolova, a widow for more than a decade who lives on a monthly pension of 700 euros and tried to educate her son.

With a low pension and a growing son, Ioanna Kolovou struggled to pay off her initial debt during the economic crisis of 2011-2020. At some point, debt and interest rates spiraled out of control, and it almost doubled, according to the publication. Efsin.

A few months ago, another attempt was made to evict the journalist from her home, but the active intervention of left-wing parties prevented the authorities from proceeding with the eviction procedure, while legal proceedings were reportedly launched to suspend the execution of the decision.

Although an attempt was made to pay off debts and buy the house from the new owner who bought it through the fund, the desired result was not achieved (the appraised value of an apartment in this area is at least 4 times higher than the amount of the debt. It is clear that the buyer does not want to lose such a profitable kush). Colova’s lawyer, who saw her apartment confiscated for a relatively small debt, said of the “unfortunate event”.

On Monday, a crowd of protesters broke through the police chain to show solidarity with a low-paid pensioner. Representatives of the main opposition SYRIZA spoke of “a very unfair decision” and reminded that “those in power are not touched, no matter how big their debts are.” The Communist Party KKE said “it’s a shame and disgrace” and its union PAΑΜΕ also expressed solidarity, calling for a protest later on Monday under the slogan “No house in the hands of a banker”.

Varoufakis’ MeRA25 statement said that “scenes from the darkest dystopias built by the most authoritarian regimes will be the present and future for a significant part of society, which is doomed to the Kafkaesque nightmare of capitalizing its debt to debtor banks so that they can take them after home by selling their debts to funds,” comments MeRA25.

Colovu later told the media that the police said they would fix the door and she would be allowed to stay for 1-2 days while the local mayor’s office tried to find accommodation for her.

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