For sale?

The Greek prime ministry announced a third austerity program yesterday, prompting protests from public sector workers. But some German MPs apparently felt it was not enough and recommended rather impolitic further measures: the fire sale of uninhabited Greek islands and cultural assets like, well, the Acropolis. This did not please the Greeks, who called for ...

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Greek prime ministry announced a third austerity program yesterday, prompting protests from public sector workers. But some German MPs apparently felt it was not enough and recommended rather impolitic further measures: the fire sale of uninhabited Greek islands and cultural assets like, well, the Acropolis. This did not please the Greeks, who called for a boycott of German goods.

The sale of cultural assets surely goes a touch far. For one, Greece has a massive tourism industry. I doubt all those Americans would bother visiting the site where the Parthenon once sat. More importantly, and obviously, Greek cultural artifacts might be valuable to someone, but are invaluable to Greeks.

The sale of uninhabited or unused land actually strikes me as a decent idea -- the question is how it would be enacted. The idea of Greece marketing and selling an island to a billionaire might be crass, but seems workable. The idea of Greece selling sovereign land to Turkey? Less so.

The Greek prime ministry announced a third austerity program yesterday, prompting protests from public sector workers. But some German MPs apparently felt it was not enough and recommended rather impolitic further measures: the fire sale of uninhabited Greek islands and cultural assets like, well, the Acropolis. This did not please the Greeks, who called for a boycott of German goods.

The sale of cultural assets surely goes a touch far. For one, Greece has a massive tourism industry. I doubt all those Americans would bother visiting the site where the Parthenon once sat. More importantly, and obviously, Greek cultural artifacts might be valuable to someone, but are invaluable to Greeks.

The sale of uninhabited or unused land actually strikes me as a decent idea — the question is how it would be enacted. The idea of Greece marketing and selling an island to a billionaire might be crass, but seems workable. The idea of Greece selling sovereign land to Turkey? Less so.

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

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