Greece sells state-owned assets

Stephen Beard Mar 17, 2010
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Greece sells state-owned assets

Stephen Beard Mar 17, 2010
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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.

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