Greece urged to sell islands to pay off debt

5 March 2010

Greece should consider selling some of its islands to pay off its debt, a pair of German politicians has claimed.

Josef Schlarmann, a member of chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats party, and Frank Schaeffle, a finance expert, made the comments in an interview with German newspaper Bild.

The former was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Those in insolvency have to sell everything they have to pay their creditors. Greece owns buildings, companies and uninhabited islands, which could all be used for debt redemption."

Bild published the story under the headline "Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks! And sell the Acropolis too!".

Opinion polls conducted in Germany show that the majority of the public are not supportive of the country helping fund the bailout of Greece.

The country is currently struggling with its debt after deficit levels reached 12.7 per cent of GDP at the end of 2009, a figure four times higher than the recommended amount.

Meanwhile, the struggling state’s Public Debt Management Agency has launched a ten-year bond issue as part of its deficit reduction strategy.

Greece is aiming to pay off €54 million during 2010.

By Jim Ottewill

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