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Private islands around Greece on sale at bargain prices

The sale of Scorpios has run into difficulties given that the will of the late shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis forbids the sale of the island, unless its maintenance is unfeasible.

By Nikos Roussanoglou

Following a three-year period during which no purchases were recorded, major activity is currently being observed in the sale and development of Greeceís private islands. According to experts operating in this singular market, a number of owners, especially those who inherited the island properties, are trying to sell them off due to recently introduced high taxation.

As a result, asking prices have dropped considerably, while in cases of serious offers, it is estimated that the owners are willing to make some substantial concessions. This is the case in the alleged sale of Oxia, an island owned by the Greek-Australian Stamoulis family, to members of Qatarís royal family.

The island, which has a surface area of approximately 1,236 acres, was initially advertised at 6.9 million euros. The propertyís final price, however, is said not to have exceeded 5 million euros. The island is located in the Ionian Sea, near Ithaca.

While a major portion of Oxia is protected as a part of the Natura 2000 ecological network, part of the island may be developed, according to sources.

The sale of Patroklos island, off the tip of Attica and 3 kilometers from Sounio, might be nearing. According to a well-informed source, the propertyís owners, the Giatrakos family, are currently working in tandem with a Canadian investor and collaborating with local authorities in a bid to clarify which part of the island may be commercially developed. Given Patroklosís major development potential and its proximity to the capital, it is estimated that the price will exceed the 100-million-euro mark.

Nevertheless, previous attempts to sell the island have come up against obstacles due to the lack of a clear urban-planning and land-use scheme, as well as a series of archaeological issues. The Giatrakos family is making all possible efforts to put the aforementioned matters to rest in order to finalize the islandís transfer.

A well-known private island, Scorpios, has also been up for sale for the last few years. The island, which currently belongs to Athina Onassis, is situated opposite the village of Nydri, Lefkada, in the Ionian Sea.

The Onassis heir is citing financial reasons for putting Scorpios on the market. According to Kathimerini sources, however, the sale has run into difficulties given that Aristotle Onassisís will forbids the sale of the island, unless its maintenance is unfeasible, which is what the magnateís granddaughter claims. Given this legal complication, the owner is actively pursuing the option of a 99-year lease to an investor.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday April 17, 2012 (23:15)  
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