Moving to Greece?
Greece: Accommodation and Education
Accommodation in Greece
A lot of expats decide to rent in Greece. Greek law requires a rental contract to be valid for a minimum of three years. Rental prices vary in Greece, but are often highest in Athens. A deposit of two months’ rent is usually due upon signing, and one month’s notice must be given before moving out.
Expats are generally allowed to buy property anywhere in Greece (in fact it is actively encouraged by the government) except for in designated ‘border areas’. To buy property in these areas, non-EU citizens need special permission from the Ministry of Interior. The process is easier for EU citizens and permission is granted by a special committee.
If you are buying property valued at over EUR 104,700, you must hire a lawyer, who will help guide you through the process of purchasing property in Greece. This usually ends up costing 1-1.5% of the value of the property.
The following websites are useful for searching for property either to buy or to rent:
Education in Greece
Education is compulsory in Greece from ages 6 to 15. The school system is comprised of a six-year primary school (Dimotiko) and a three-year lower secondary school (Gymnasio), followed by a non-compulsory upper secondary school. The upper secondary schools can be either academic or technical in nature. Most Greek children attend public schools.
Plenty of non-compulsory private and public preschools and kindergartens are also available in Greece. Children can start attending preschool (Vrefonipiakoi Paidikoi Stathmi) at the age of 2 ½ and then continue on to kindergarten (Nipiagogeia) before starting primary school.
Greece also has many good international schools. Thirteen schools in Greece offer an International Baccalaureate degree, which makes it easier to study at universities outside of Greece after graduation. Most of the international schools are located in Athens, but there are a few in Thessaloniki. Several languages of instruction are offered, including English, French, German and Japanese.
The selection of international schools offers an English-language education, mostly in Athens:
- International School Athens
- Saint Catherine’s British School
- Campion School
- American Community School Athens
Top Expat Destinations in Greece
Athens has a population of just nearly four million. It has a long history, stretching back thousands of years through antiquity to the Neolithic Age. It is located eight kilometers from the Bay of Phaleron on the Aegean Sea, the site of Athens’ port, Piraeus. This bustling port helps to make Athens the most important manufacturing city in Greece. Athens accounts for about half of the jobs in Greece in handicrafts and industry. Average salaries are higher here than elsewhere in Greece, though the city has also been affected by the ongoing crisis.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece with a population of around 800,000. Named after a sister of Alexander the Great, the city was founded in 315 BCE. Thessaloniki emerged as a major industrial center in the 1960s, with the opening of steel mills, oil refineries, and petrochemical plants. The city is also a major exporter of raw and processed agricultural products, chrome, and manganese. Much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1978. During the current economic crisis, the unemployment rate in Thessaloniki has risen dramatically, especially due to the high number of young people who live here.
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