Ben Woodhead Deputy editor - digital

Ben Woodhead is deputy editor - digital at the Financial Review Group. He writes on business, technology, politics and the economy and can be found on BRW, The Australian Financial Review and Smart Investor.

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Now Greece is considering selling some of its islands

Published 24 August 2012 06:44, Updated 28 August 2012 06:35

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Now Greece is considering selling some of its islands

Sea change ... There are 6000 islands and islands in the Greek archipelago and most of them are uninhabited. Photo: Meander Adventures

Two years ago German politicians told Greece it should consider flogging some of its many uninhabited islands to combat crippling financial problems. Now it looks like the debt-addled nation may be planning to do just that.

In a preview of an interview with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, French newspaper Le Monde suggests that the PM flagged up the sale of uninhabited islets as an option as it looks for ways to raise funds to prop up its troubled economy.

Le Monde is due to publish the full interview Friday night AEST, but Huffington Post reports Samaras as saying “as long as this doesn’t pose problems for national security, some of these isles could have a commercial use ... This is not, in any way, about selling them off for cheap, but about transforming unused terrain into capital that could generate revenue, at a fair prices”.

Business Insider notes that there are more than 5700 uninhabited islets in the Greek archipelago, ranging from rocky outcrops to fully-fledged islands with natural beaches, ports and forests.

Separately, the Los Angeles Times notes this week that there’s a surprising number of surprisingly affordable islands on the market around the world.

“Although private islands are often associated with the very rich, they aren't always that exclusive or even all that expensive. Private Islands, a Toronto-based island marketing firm, lists about 500 islands worldwide from less than $US50,000 to more than $US100 million,” the LA Times says.

According to the paper, US, Canadian and British buyers account for 80 per cent of the market and popular locales for would-be island owners are the Bahamas, Belize, Panama, the Mediterranean and Greece.