- The World’s Uberwealthy Scramble To Buy Greek Isles (ZeroHedge, May 17, 2013):
The emir of Qatar is a busy man: in addition to providing funding and weapons to the mercenary group formerly known as Syrian “rebels” in order to boost his already incalculable wealth and promote his LNG interests in the region over those of Saudi Arabia, in the process isolating Russia as the marginal provider of energy to Europe and furthering western interests even if it means escalating the Syrian civil war, he is also diversifying his assets. And he is doing so in a way that would provide for a quick and painless getaway should things in his country turn sour (now that the US and Russian fleets are converging nearby, this is no longer a merely token possibility): by buying Greek islands. So now that the world has seen the “lead investors” step in, the uber-wealthiest are scrambling to copycat one of the world’s richest people and stake their own Greek island claim.
As reported two months ago, Qatar’s emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani paid €8.5 million for six islands in the Ionian sea. As Guardian reported, “The isles, known as the Echinades, caught the oil-rich monarch’s fancy when he moored his super-yacht in the turquoise waters off Ithaca, took in the view and liked what he saw. That was four summers ago.”
When the royal eventually got off the yacht, he inquired about the pine-covered chain as he strolled about Ithaca in sandals and shorts. “They have a fund with a couple of hundred million in it,” enthused Kassianos, a former US economics professor who assumed the mayorship of Homer’s fabled isle three years ago. “And as far as I know they want to buy all 18 of the islands, the whole lot.” Continue reading »