The Exchange

Greek Islands for Sale? Why Not

The Exchange

If Greece really wants to sell an island or two, you have to like its chances of drawing interest. Maybe a Richard Branson or Larry Ellison. Possibly Disney.

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Blue and white beach umbrellas

What's going on, you wonder? Bloomberg's reporting today that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras mentioned the notion of selling or leasing some Greek islands as part of the country's overall plan to improve its financial situation, and it comes as yet another round of questions are being asked about whether the nation should or will stay in the euro currency pact.

The report, based on an interview Samaras gave to France's Le Monde, said the comments related to unpopulated Greek islands and were in response to a question on the topic. He said that as long as doing so didn't "pose a national security problem," certain islands might be used "commercially."

"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," the Bloomberg report quoted him as saying.

Private island sales. It's a very odd concept for most normal people, but there is a market for it. Naturally, this isn't the kind of thing you can make up. Visit the site Private Islands Online to get a sense of what's out there. There's already at least one island off Greece's coast in the Aegean Sea, Kardiotissa Island, a 280-acre plot, listed for 6.5 million euros (about $8.2 million).

Whether it's what Greece actually needs, who knows for sure. It's hard to see a few land transfers significantly denting Greece's ongoing, years-long economic turmoil. Then again, Lanai is thought to have gone for around $500 million or somewhere above. So there you go.

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