Greek PM says country ‘to sell off islands’ in bid to avoid bankruptcy

By Tim Shipman, Daily Mail

© News Pictures/
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras suggested his embattled country could cash in on its 6,000 islands to stave off bankruptcy

Greece is considering selling off some of its islands to avoid national bankruptcy.

Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras said yesterday that leasing islands might ease its woes.

Greece has around 6,000 islands in total, many of which are uninhabited.

He told French newspaper Le Monde: ‘On condition that no national security problem is posed, some of the islands could be used commercially.

‘It would not be a case of getting rid of the islands, but of transforming unused terrain into capital that can generate revenue, for a fair price.’

Mr Samaras argued that attracting foreign investment was crucial to reviving the Greek economy, adding that sections of Greece’s Attica coast to the east of Athens may also be attractive to private buyers.

Under the plans it is likely that developers would lease the land for a period of decades and build houses and hotels.

The proposal comes as Athens pleads with eurozone leaders for more time to implement an austerity programme.

The country is supposed to be making radical cuts in exchange for two huge bailouts from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund worth nearly £200billion.

Mr Samaras met Eurozone boss Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, who warned him that Greece now has a ‘last chance’ to get his country’s finances in order.

Mr Samaras will meet today FRI in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose political allies are balking at the idea of giving Greece more time or more money.

Several senior German politicians have indicated that they do not think a Greek withdrawal from the single currency would sink the euro.


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