Euro Crisis

Greece Sells Assets in Desperate Bid for Cash

Going once ... going twice ...


As George Georgas drives his golf buggy along the sea front, the sprightly 80-year-old muses on why this is the best stretch of coast in the world.

The beach is the longest on the Greek island of Rhodes – four miles of crystal waters, flanked by a gently sloping pebble shore. The 18-hole golf course that flanks it is lined with olive trees and wild flowers, and there is scarcely a hotel or high rise in sight.

Mr Georgas has played here for over 30 years. And now he thinks the government should sell it.

"We are like a bankrupt housewife forced to sell the silver, to save the family," he said. "Greece has no choice."

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.