Greece is sinking under the heavy weight of its mismanaged debt. In fact, it’s sinking so fast, it figured it may as well sell some of itself off to the world to try and balance its budget. So yes, Greece is considering auctioning off some of its unused islands for some cash. Greece has 3,054 islands around its coast, and only 87 of them are actually settled, giving the country a large surplus of solid island revenue that they are seriously considering selling. A small island of 30 acres is estimated to go for $1.5 million, and a large island close to the Greek mainland could go for as much as $30 million.
The island market, so to speak, is said to be sensitive to global events, such that after September 11, the global island demand went way up among Hollywood stars especially who figured they’d best have a place to run to in case terrorists attack another big city, like Beverly Hills. Abandoned islands just aren’t that high up on the global Jihad hit list.
Greece’s economic collapse is seen globally as a warning sign for the financial crisis to come. Greece is small time, and as American debt piles up and the largest economy on the globe continues to tread into the red, economists cringe when they think about the consequences. If the United States pulls off a Greece, there are far fewer islands for them to sell, and who wants to think about what happens to the rest of world trade.
Meanwhile, things in Israel are doing just fine, economically. She’s not spending too much, keeping her sheets balanced, and along with Australia is the only country to exhibit economic growth this past year. Leading the shrinkage are Germany, Britain, and the US.
Then again, you can’t blame Israel for being too careful. It’s one thing to overspend when there are no enemies who threaten your very existence. On the other hand, when you are surrounded by people who would rather you not exist, you tend to exercise frugality, just in case you need the money for some kind of emergency, like the next war.
That, and Israel can’t really sell any islands. She’s good at either brain power, and on the small scale those little Judaica shops. Though if there’s an economic collapse, I think the worldwide demand for Kiddush Cups and Challah Boards and Shabbat Candlesticks would plummet. Let’s hope it never comes to that.