What began earlier this month with the modest sale of a 10 per cent stake in Greece’s state telecoms company is set to accelerate over the next four years into an unprecedented auction of public assets. In return for the loans it needs to avoid bankruptcy Greece has been forced to open its national car boot and start an extraordinary sale.
Items for consideration include: vast stretches of the country’s famed coastline, mountain-top casinos, the rail network, power generation, former Olympic venues, four airbuses, stakes in several banks, the betting monopoly, ports, airports, highways, racecourses and the post office.
All this in a country that took more than a generation, and several political crises to find a buyer for its costly and then ailing state airline, Olympic. What the country will get in return could be described as a lottery if it weren’t for the fact that the national lottery is also up for sale.