Greece to Lease 40 Uninhabited Islands

Greece to Lease 40 Uninhabited Islands

Greece 's Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund has identified 40 uninhabited islands and islets that could be leased for as long as 50 years to reduce debt as pressure grows on the country to revive an asset-sales plan key to receiving international aid, reported Bloomberg. The fund reviewed 562 of the estimated 6 thousand islands and islets under Greek sovereignty. Finally the shortlist includes islands ranging in size from 500 thousand square meters to 3 million square meters, and which can be developed into high-end integrated tourist resorts under leases lasting 30 years to 50 years.

As stated Andreas Taprantzis, the fund's executive director for real estate, they identified locations that have good terrain, are close to the mainland and have a well-developed infrastructure and, at the same time, pose no threat to national security. He also added that current legislation doesn't allow them to sell outright and they don't want too.

The fund is charged with raising 50 billion euros (US$ 64 billion) from state assets by 2020 to meet conditions tied to pledges of 240 billion euros in foreign aid. As international inspectors in Athens scrutinize the country's fitness to receive the latest aid payment, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said commercial exploitation of some islands could generate the revenue lenders need to see to continue funding the country.

At the beginning of this year, Greece Government also announced, that they put the ancient sites for rent. Archaeological treasures including the temple of Delphi, the most popular site after the Acropolis, will be available as backdrops for filming and photographic shoots.

But Greece isn't the only struggling European country looking for profit from historic sites, and island. A Few months ago Italy's government has unveiled a fire sale of some real gems of the country's heritage due to difficult economic situation in country.