Greece sells state-owned assets

Stephen Beard Mar 17, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Greece sells state-owned assets

Stephen Beard Mar 17, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: In Europe, Greece is battling with one of the biggest budget deficits in the world. Neighboring countries are being asked to bail them out. But now the government in Athens might have a partial solution — a fire sale of state-owned property. From London, Marketplace Europe correspondent Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The government still dominates the Greek economy. And so it has an amazing range of assets to sell. It’s putting a curious ragbag of goodies on the block. A handful of jumbo jets, a casino, some banks, and most bizarrely: The Organisation for Prognostication on Soccer Matches. That body runs the lucrative business of betting on sports.

The first chunk of state-owned assets is expected to raise $2.5 billion euros. There are many more things the government could sell. But, says commentator John Psarapolous, it won’t be taking up a German suggestion and offloading some its scenic islands.

JOHN PSARAPOLOUS: If you’re going to pay off a large chunk of your €300 billion debt with sales of such islands you’re going to have to sell dozens or hundreds. And that wouldn’t go down terribly well.

Another half-joking suggestion is that Greece cash in on its cultural heritage — charging companies for the use of names from Greek mythology. For example: Nike, the goddess of Victory.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.