“Sell your islands you bankrupt Greeks, and the Acropolis too!”

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March 5, 2010

There is a kerfuffle in Europe as grumpy German politicians are demanding Greece sell off its islands to raise cash to avoid bankruptcy.

“What should a bankrupt person be doing?” asked Josef Schlarmann, a senior figure in Germany’s governing Christian Democrat Party on the eve of a visit by George Papandreou, the Greek Prime Minister, “Selling everything he owns to pay his creditors, that’s what. For the Greeks that means buildings and unpopulated islands.”

“We give you cash, you give us Corfu!” Germany’s Bild National Newspaper commented. Another German newspaper headline read: “Sell your islands you bankrup Greeks, and the Acropolis too!”

Although the headlines are tongue and cheek, the Greeks are becoming very angry. They are infuriated by what they see as a threatening line from a nation which ravaged their country during the Second World War.

Many have called for a boycott of German products – resulting in a fall in sales at German car dealerships, a supermarket chain and even a pet food distributor.

Greece’s deputy foreign minister, Dimitris Droutsas, told German TV: ‘I’ve also heard the suggestion we should sell the Acropolis. Suggestions like this are not appropriate at this time.’

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