The emir of Qatar is in trouble.
The Guardian – among other media outlets – published an article saying he agreed to buy six small Greek islands, situated in the turquoise Ionian sea, close to the island of Ithaca, the legendary homeland of Odysseus (or Ulysses).
The emir is a generous man. He agreed to shell out €8.5 million for this cluster of islands and, as if that wasn’t enough, he also promised to pay for the construction of a pipeline to bring fresh water from mainland Greece to Ithaca.
According to the article, the previous island owners were reeally happy to see them go, as they had been trying to sell them for 40 years!
It is more rare to find anyone interested in investing in Greece than it is to come across a snow leopard. So the Greek government – otherwise slow as a snail in reacting to anything – was quick to grab the opportunity to coax him into buying any real estate property earmarked for sale in its long list of privatizations.
The emir will not get the government off his back easily. I read the Greek PM traveled recently to Qatar to “convince” him to participate in a tender for the development of Athens’s old international airport: Care to invest? No? I’ll ask again. Care to invest? Yes? That’s better.
Some more pressure, and suddenly the emir showed some interest in acquiring some luxury hotel in Athens’ upmarket southern suburbs.
Don’t worry, the emir doesn’t run the risk of going bust. According to the aptly named website Celebrity networth (http://www.celebritynetworth.com), the emir’s net worth is about $2.5 billion. “So why not ‘help’ him to spend it here?”, the Greek government must have thought.
I wonder if the emir would care to buy an old car we have?
The Guardian’s article is here: