Greek gov't denies report on sales of islands, large estate properties to Chinese, Russian
Greek government spokesman George Petalotis sent an official letter to "The Guardian" newspaper on Friday, categorically rejecting a report published in the English daily newspaper regarding "plans to sale Greek islands" to foreigners, especially Chinese and Russian, to tackle a severe debt crisis, Xinhua reported.
"I was deeply disappointed by the misleading article written by Elena Moya. The assertion that the Greek government is involved in the sale of any islands is wholly inaccurate," stressed Petalotis in his reply, noting that sale of privately owned islands in Greece is nothing new for years.
"It is doubly misleading to imply that the Greek government is also in negotiations with Russian and Chinese investors to sell off land in Rhodes, when this refers to commercial real estate transactions unrelated to the Greek state and is based on unsubstantiated hearsay," added Petalotis.
"The far-fetched suggestion that Greece would consider selling off islands "driven by the inability of the state to develop basic infrastructure, or police most of its islands" is both incorrect and offensive. Such allegations raise serious doubts about the motivation for publishing this piece on the front page of The Guardian", the letter continued.
"Last but not least, Greece did not receive a 'bailout' from the EU and IMF (International Monetary Fund) but a loan, which will be repaid in full. I hope in future that you will undertake more thorough fact-checking before publishing such inflammatory articles,, Petalotis concluded.
Debt-ridden Greece has strongly reacted over the past few months to similar offensive reports in German media.