Greece is For Sale: Buy Now & Save!
Heck, it is not all that weird sounding. I mean, the State of California, considered a world economy just by itself remains in a quagmire of financial poo forcing it to sell many of its owned properties and parks or landmarks to private citizens. Like a family trying to stay afloat when the parents are not working, you sell off your "luxuries and toys" first to buy time.
Greece is like the Titantic that hit an iceberg. It is listing to the side at a steady pace economically, which is why Germany is willing to bail them out. Greece has already received from the EU 110 billion euros, which it, like butter, melted and was squandered. It now needs another 100 billion euros just to pay the countries loans and bills. To get it from the EU, they must sell some of their own assets to help offset the negative balance and cutback severely all their programs. If Greece collapses, the fear is that Spain, Portugal would follow because they have hit icebergs as well and are stalled.
So, despite the reluctance of the Greek government, they have no choice but to sell real estate. For sale are: the Kamena Vourla campground with its pristine beach and two hot water springs, Mount Parnes Casino, Athens International Airport (think of owning an airport that is only 10 yrs. old), Hellenikon Airport (now, just empty, but close to Athens and contains some Olympic arenas), Vouliagmeni Marina (south of Athens and a local favorite for boaters), Anavyssos saltworks (despite the name, the selling point here is the near two mile long sandy beach), Afandou Golf Course (though it is one of the older courses, it is hard to get to being on the island of Rhodes), Hellenic Postbank (well, a 34% interest in it) selling for 250 million euros, the Greek railway system.
There is more, much more, some 70,000 other properties to buy. The problem is that many of these have little legal documentation as to who actually own them, many records found date back to 1915.Because of this, the Greek courts are filled with those contesting the sale but lack documentation to prove it, yet the State, cannot prove that they own it. If you do buy some, you don't actually own it, you are leasing it for 30 yrs. Much like the State of Hawaii, where one does not own the property, they lease it for a century.Then, if you want to develop it, one much go through the maze of approval process that will have your head spinning because of the different agencies with conflicting interests that must approve it also. You get the picture. It also becomes a political issue, like the Hellenikon Airport, which has been unused since 2001. Greece has tried to lure international companies to develop it, yet, their is local opposition at every turn.