One hundred and ten of Greece’s best beaches are on sale by Greece’s privatization agency, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) in the name of supposed 'development' and 'utilization of public assets' as the prerequisite for receiving more handouts from the Troika. "This sale of the land must happen," explains one Greek civil servant, "we need this now, quickly. Tell the Russians and the Qataris to hurry up!"
But as KeepTalkingGreece notes, not everyone is so exuberant about a supposedly recovered Greece dumping assets in order to pay back its European bailout banker overlords. With SYRIZA taking the lead in elections, the euro-skeptic sentiment is likely only to rise.
- *SYRIZA PLACES FIRST IN GREECE'S EU ELECTIONS, EXIT POLL SHOWS
As The Guardian reports, some 70,000 lots are for sale in the nation's largest firesale. "We are like a bankrupt housewife forced to sell the silver, to save the family," said one Greek beach-sitter, "Greece has no choice." Well - in fact - they do...
On Monday Antonis Samaras, the prime minister, scraped through another round of negotiations with the Troika – the EU, IMF and European Central Bank – and managed to secure payment of the next EU 8.8 billion instalment of the bailout. But privatisation is a prerequisite for receiving the bailout funds.
The sale of the coast at Afandou is part of the Greek government's desperate attempts to raise money by privatising its vast portfolio of state-owned assets – the largest firesale in history. Some 70,000 lots are for sale, ranging from pristine stretches of coast through to royal palaces, marinas, thermal baths, ski resorts and entire islands. Only last Wednesday, bidding closed for a stake in the state gambling company.
"We are like a bankrupt housewife forced to sell the silver, to save the family," he said. "Greece has no choice."
"This sale of the land must happen," she said. "We need this now, quickly. Tell the Russians and the Qataris to hurry up!"
"Anyone who argues against it is either an idiot, or a state employee who doesn't think about economic reality and just likes to lounge on the beach," he said. "We have our heads in the noose."
However, not everyone supports the idea of so many places going under the hammer.
"We need to keep state ownership of all our assets – not sell them to the highest bidder," complained Yiannis Milios, chief economist for the opposition Syriza party, who would prefer to see more use of public-private partnerships, rather than sales.
"Experience shows that the privatisation of public goods is a very bad idea. With water, for instance, the quality falls but the price rises, which is totally wrong. The government is very good at finding legal formulas to work its way round supposed guarantees of public interest. It is not a good idea at all."
As the new draft bill for the ‘regulation of seashores’ foresees that the sold beaches must allow a small space for the public to use for free, it is really hilarious to see the plot of Sarakino beach for sale: it is marked with red ink. A tiny strip of beach is foreseen for free access for the public. The free beach is so small that it will allow swimmers to enjoy sun bathing most probably standing on their feet.
It seems the Greeks have forgotten one thing... their free-will choice to remain "in" the Euro...
- *SYRIZA FORECAST TO GET 26%-30% VS 23%-27% FOR NEW DEMOCRACY
Or have they?
Full Greek Asset Sale list below...