Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Greece: Question Marks Surround Sale of Skorpios Island

The sale of the Greek island of Skorpios is to be reviewed by the Greek Legal Council to ensure compliance with the terms of former owner Aristotle Onassis’ will.

Skorpios Island

Skorpios Island

The widely reported sale of Skorpios Island is to be placed under judicial review after doubts were cast over the legitimacy of the hundred million dollar deal. With sources close to the Onassis family suggesting that the transaction goes against last will and testament of former owner Aristotle Onassis, however, speculation is growing that the so-called sale of the century could yet fall through.

According to Greek news agency AMNA, the Greek shipping magnate stated in his will that Skorpios was to remain within the Onassis family as long as they could afford to cover its upkeep. Onassis then went further to explain that, in the event that his descendants could no longer afford to pay the maintenance costs, the island was to be donated to the now defunct Olympic Airways or to the state.

Reports of a sale have been circulating since mid-April, with Greek media sources alluding to a mystery millionaire buyer. If the rumours are true, the buyer would join the Emir of Qatar on the ever growing list of foreign investors keen to take advantage of Greece’s grab-bag of private islands, as the cash-strapped country desperately seeks to sell its assets in an attempt to appease international lenders and ease its spiralling debt.

With opinions firmly divided when it comes to divesting real estate to foreign investors, it is no surprise that the controversial sale has been a major talking point across the Hellenic Republic. Indeed, the sale of Skorpios even made it onto the political agenda, with New Democracy MP Yiannis Michelakis challenging Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to investigate the matter further during a recent parliamentary debate.

After increasing political pressure, Stournaras confirmed this week that the matter had been referred to the State Legal Council, who will report their findings in due course. With national pride now at stake, many commentators predict that these findings will call the deal to fall through, further adding to the myth of Skorpios. Whatever the courts decide, you can be sure to read about it first with Private Island News.

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