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The Daily Reckoning

Germans to Greeks: Sell the acropolis, Parthenon, and Aegean Islands

Some Germans argue that Greece should sell its assets to pay down its debts.

By Rocky VegaGuest blogger / March 5, 2010

Greece's Parthenon at the acropolis is seen here. Some argue that Greece should sell its ancient assets to raise money to pay down its debts.

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The rhetoric is heating up between the Germans and Greeks. In the latest episode, two German politicians told Germany’s bestselling Bild newspaper that Greece should set about selling assets to work down its debt, including publicly-owned uninhabited islands, and national historical treasures like the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

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From the Guardian:

“Alongside austerity measures such as cuts to public sector pay and a freeze on state pensions, why not sell a few uninhabited islands or ancient artefacts, asked Josef Schlarmann, a senior member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, and Frank Schaeffler, a finance policy expert in the Free Democrats.

“The Acropolis and the Parthenon could also fall under the hammer, along with temptingly idyllic Aegean islands still under state ownership, in a rush to keep bankruptcy at bay.

“‘Those in insolvency have to sell everything they have to pay their creditors,” Schlarmann told Bild newspaper. “Greece owns buildings, companies and uninhabited islands, which could all be used for debt redemption.’”

Naturally, the whole matter got Greeks up at arms about the idea of boycotting German products, including the nation’s consumer federation. You can read more about the developments at the Guardian’s coverage of how, according to German MPs, Greece should sell their islands to keep bankruptcy at bay.

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