Greece Holds Fire Sale, Islands, Train System Up for Grabs
June 26, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Anybody in the market for your very own exotic island? Greece is dealing with its financial crisis much like a cash-strapped college kid selling off his Sony Play Station to pay the rent. After the International Monetary Fund and the EU stepped in to bail out Greece from economic collapse, the Greek government is making draconian budget cuts, as well as eying its resources to put on the auction block to raise some quick cash. Some of the country’s assets up for grabs, are a number of undeveloped islands and even the rail and water systems.
As a condition of the IMC bailout, Greece is required to implement austerity measures, but the beleaguered country also needs to find sources of cold hard cash to pay down its debt. Long term leases are also being considered on some of its 6,000 island properties, in the hopes investors will invest in infrastructure and create jobs, according to the Guardian:
“Only 227 Greek islands are populated and the decision to press ahead with potential sales has also been driven by the inability of the state to develop basic infrastructure, or police most of its islands. The hope is that the sale or long-term lease of some islands will attract investment that will generate jobs and taxable income.”
And the wealthy Chinese are being courted to take over the country’s rail systems:
“In its battle to raise funds, the country is also planning to sell its rail and water companies. Chinese investors are understood to be interested in the Greek train system, as they already control some of the ports. In a deal announced earlier this month, the Greek government also agreed to export olive oil to China.”
Despite the government fire sale, Prime Minister George Papandreou is confident his government can recover from his country’s “catastrophic” course.
But by then, the Chinese might own the Acropolis.