Euro Crisis: Would You Like To Buy a Greek Island?

At a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel — dubbed the most powerful woman in the world for a second year in a row by Forbes – Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras asked for “breathing space” for his country to meet the terms of its debt package.

While saying that it was her wish for Greece to remain in the euro zone and “that’s what [she's] working for],” and indeed greeted the Greek prime minister “warmly” according to one report, Merkel insisted that it is up to the people of Greece to implement austerity measures agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last summer in Brussel, in order for Greece to receive the next 33.5 billion euro installment of a 130 billion euro debt package.

Merkel said that she would not make “premature judgments” and would wait to hear the results of a report to be issued next month by the troika of the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission.

On Thursday, Merkel had met with French President Francois Hollande; both had stated that Greece must continue to implement stringent reforms.

Data has shown that Germany’s economy is starting to show the effects of the European debt crisis, with reports showing that German output had declined 0.5 percent in the third quarter. The euro zone now seems to be headed for a double-dip recession.

For a little historical perspective about Samaras’ visit to Germany to request (beg) for “breathing space,” in the months before he became Greek prime minister, Samaras was stoutly opposed to the terms of the second bailout. His response to such criticisms has been that “nobody is without sin and it is important to ‘focus on today so we can have a better tomorrow,’” rather than dwelling on the past.

In an effort to finalize a package of 11.5 billion euros ($14.4 billion) in spending cuts, Greece has announced that it may try to sell some of its uninhabited islands as part of its privatization drive (the country is also seeking to sell off some utilities and is meeting opposition from unions). Samaras said that islands might be sold “on condition that it doesn’t pose a national security problem.” He insisted that “it would not be a case of getting rid of the isles, but of transforming unused terrain into capital that can generate revenue, for a fair price.”

Germany had actually made such a suggestion about Greece puttings islands on the market in 2010.

(No word on whether such was discussed on Friday in Berlin.)

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Photo by Mike Knapek

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Emm S.
Emm S.3 years ago

yes if I could I would buy one and transform it onto an animal refuge

Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg3 years ago

What a fiscal mess!

Stella Ward
Stella Ward3 years ago

John B. interesting you should say that Greece is a relatively new Democracy when Greece is the nation that first came up with it in the Ancient times. Ian F. yes selling off our islands does become a national security risk when our neighbors are the Turks who are constantly threatening to invade us and selling our islands off would make it easier for them to get closer to us and build military bases with plenty of weaponry on those islands (even if they are only small rocky islands). Cheri L. the common people here in Greece have had to pay inordinate amounts of money on Taxes to the point where they cannot afford to pay their utilities, rent/mortgages, food for their families. Even unemployed people with zero income are taxed. Far too many have ended up losing their homes due to the inability to pay the taxes not unwillingness. People are lined up outside churches, stores, any public area asking for jobs and/or handouts to feed their children. Many people have jobs that have not paid them for a year or more, but are hanging on to those jobs in the hopes that they will get paid at some point in the future since there are no other jobs to go to. John H. the school system here is systematically failing our children. They have changed the academic material to the point where those who graduate from high school cannot hardly pass the tests to get into universities here and parents have a hard time helping their younger children with their homework because they have chang

Mary L.
Mary L.3 years ago

The fantasy is lovely. The reality is something else. But I keep hearing that old Simon and Garfunkel song...

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y.3 years ago

Greece would not be giving up any land, just selling a few of its 6,000 tiny islands to private investors, but the government would still collect taxes.

Most of these islets don't have any running water or any wildlife except cacti and seagulls. A good idea so long as development is sustainable and non-polluting. Why not have investors sink artesian wells and conduct eco-tourism?

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle3 years ago

GRRRRR. Land privatization is immoral. There should be land set aside for all the people to use. And not exploited.
What the wealth are doing to Greece and the rest of the world is abhorant.

Stella Ward
Stella Ward3 years ago

Truly there is tax evasion here in Greece, but the worst perpetrators of it are the very ones making the rules here. There are far too many politicians who are selling out our land through their corruption and lining their own pockets while the rest of us are having to pick up the tab through extreme and deadly austerity measures. There have been over 4000 suicides (political murders) to date, over 1.5 million unemployed, thousands homeless, medical care and education have gone down hill. Small shops are closing down daily due to lack of customers who do not have enough money to pay even for necessities due to the extremely high taxes we are paying while the rich play hide and seek with their own money. Not to mention being the poorest and smallest NATION not state who is housing an inordinately large community of illegal immigrants while the other richer nations are keeping their borders closed. Our land is NOT, NOT, NOT for sale! Those who advocate we sell out, give us the example and lets see you sell your own land first. There would be a major revolution if that was attempted.

Sofia Karvouna
Sofia Karvouna3 years ago

Greek islands and a sovereign nation's soil is NOT for sale.

Jessica Larsen

Edward M, Greece is not a state, and meither are there any "other European states". Europe consist of nations.

"Would You Like To Buy a Greek Island?"
Very much! A private island with no other people sounds awesome! I would make sure that the beaches were perfect for sea turtles and protect the nests until they hatched and the hatchlings until they reached the ocean. Help loggerheads, greens and hawksbills to survive, it'd be a dream come true!

Edward M.
Edward M.3 years ago

Why not make Greece the 51st State, as it seems that it will never rid itself of the debt which it has somehow accumulated.
If not this idea, then why not sell Greece as a bankrupt State, perhaps to any one of the European States which are screwing it into the ground, or perhaps to any one of the wealthier individuals of this World (or they could all group together to carry out this venture) who use the services of the unregulated off-shore tax havens: at least, the money that the banks "lost" can then come back out into the open, some of it returning home with the sale of Greece.