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Mensaje por Admin Lun Jun 27, 2011 3:48 pm

Greece forced to auction off beaches, casinos, palaces, airports and marinas to pay off debts

Posted by pjwalker911|

A subasta el Palacio Real de Corfu  Philip-prince
Prince Philip’s family at Mon Repos, Easter 1922

A Royal palace on Corfu where the Duke of Edinburgh was born will this week emerge as the focus point of protests on the Greek islands against the sale of the national heritage to pay off the country’s debts.
Prince Philip’s birthplace centre of Greek heritage sale row

Daily Mail | Jun 26, 2011
By Fiona Govan, Corfu

Islanders are preparing to join mainland industrial workers in protests against government plans to raise 50 billion euros fron the sale of state assets.
Residents of Corfu, one of the largest of the Greek islands and a popular holiday destination, are furious at the idea of the state auctioning off its prime locations to the highest bidder.

“Greece may be on the verge of bankruptcy but surely it’s not a good idea to sell off the family silver,” said Spiros Avramiotis, a local olive oil producer, seated in a cafe on a cobbled square in the Venetian quarter of Kerkyra.

“We have to stand up and send a message to the politicians in Athens — Corfu is not for sale, not one inch of it. Full stop.”

Mon Repos Palace in Corfu, where a museum records the site as the birthplace of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, 90 years ago, is one of several state-owned properties included the package. The firesale will beaches, casinos, palaces, airports and marinas auctioned off around Greece.

A suggestion by German MPs last year that Greece should sell off some of its islands or even the Acropolis to pay its debt infruiated Greeks. Rumours that Qatari sheikhs and Russian oligarchs were being lined up to buy on Corfu has incensed the locals.

“The fear is that places such as this will be sold off to private foreign buyers and closed off forever to the public,” explained Harry Tsoukalas, 47, a local entrepreneur.

“But it belongs to the people of Corfu and should be preserved for future generations.” There are those who argue that the sites should be turned over to Corfu itself to be run as profitable concerns.

“For decades since tourism took off here we have been subsidising the rest of Greece and got nothing in return,” argues Nikos Palavitinis, 59 a property developer and head of the newly formed “Ionian League Organisation”, a movement that calls for greater autonomy for the archipelago from Athens and that plans to field candidates in the next elections.

Mons Palace is a regency style villa set in 250 acres of lush grounds atop a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea was once used a summer residence by the Greek Royal family who fled Greece after the military coup in 1967, but now contains a small neglected museum charting the long and turbulent history of the island.

But George Nikitiadis, Greece’s Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism insisted that the government would not go to such extremes.

“We are not selling off the islands” he told the Daily Telegraph. “There isn’t enough money in the world that can pay for even our smallest island.” “But we would welcome international investors to come and invest in our treasures, to profit from our islands, it could be beneficial for them and for us.”

Prime Minister George Papandreou’s government must pass the latest round of unpopular austerity measures in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday to secure the release of the next tranche of the 110 billion rescue package from the EU-IMF.

The programme combines spending cuts and tax increases with a privatisation plan aimed at raising 50 billion over the next five years through selling off stakes in state owned industries including energy, telecoms, banks, transport and the postal service.

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