Greek national trea­sures up for sale

Destination of the World News - - NEWS -

THINGS have gone from bad to worse i n debt- rid­den Greece, where the econ­omy has failed to bounce back af­ter the 2009 Eu­ro­zone cri­sis, de­spite sev­eral bailouts from the EU and the IMF. The g overn­ment has now em­barked on a “fire sale” of its national as­sets to raise cap­i­tal for the ail­ing econ­omy, and vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing, it seems, must go. Items up for sale in­clude royal palaces, is­lands, ski re­sorts, air­ports, por­tions of Greece’s coast and state- owned com­pa­nies. One of the prize lots on the mar­ket is the Ta­toi Palace, the for­mer sum­mer res­i­dence of the Greek royal fam­ily, lo­cated 27 km from the Acrop­o­lis in Athens. More than one third of all the land on the is­land of Rhodes is govern­ment-owned, nearly all of which is now un­der the ham­mer, in­clud­ing the his­toric Man­draki Ma­rina, the Pra­son­isi penin­sula, which is a pop­u­lar wind­surf­ing spot among vis­i­tors, and large stretches of un­spoiled beach in Afan­dou. More than 70,000 Greek as­sets are up for grabs, both in Greece and abroad, with properties in Bel­grade, Rome, Brus­sels, Ni­cosia and the Slove­nian cap­i­tal Ljubl­jana for sale. The for­mer Greek con­sul’s res­i­dence in Lon­don was sold last month. The 115-year-old Vic­to­rian town­house in Hol­land Park was sold to an un­known buyer for GBP 23.3 mil­lion (US $35.5 mil­lion). While many Greeks op­pose the sell- off of national as­sets, some of which have sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural im­por­tance, the govern­ment is as­sur­ing peo­ple that many plots will only be avail­able for long-term lease, and that prospec­tive own­ers will be se­lected based on the merit of their de­vel­op­ment plans. The Greek govern­ment has lit­tle choice but to pur­sue the ag­gres­sive sale of its as­sets, since pri­vati­sa­tion is part of the terms it must meet in or­der to se­cure its next EU bailout pack­age, which will pro­vide an ad­di­tional EUR 8.8 bil­lion ($11.6 bil­lion).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.