Thursday, March 4, 2010

Whoa! German Officials to Greece: Sell Your Islands

Now, we are talking serious restructuring.

Greece should consider selling some of its islands as one option to reduce debt, two members of the German parliament in Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition said, reports Reuters.

Josef Schlarmann, a senior member of Merkel's Christian Democrats, and Frank Schaeffler, a finance policy expert in the Free Democrats, were quoted on today as saying that selling islands and other assets could help Greece out of its crisis.

"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."

These officials have a point. I have always been in favor of government shrinkage through asset sales to pay off debt.

Merkel will meet Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Berlin on Friday.

Opinion polls show Germans are overwhelmingly against taxpayers bailing out Greece.

Bild reported Schlarmann's views with this headline:

Sell Your Islands, You Bankrupt Greeks! And Sell the Acropolis Too!

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