Ever visited Greece or the Greek Islands? If you have you will know that the people are not rich but they have huge generous hearts.
That is they did have.
Years of financial mismanagement and tough economic measures, doled out by the European Union, must surely have taken their toll.
As if Greek people have not suffered enough there is now a "cash and grab" underway in Greece.
"On Monday Antonis Samaras, the prime minister, scraped through another round of negotiations with the Troika – the EU, IMF and European Central Bank – and managed to secure payment of the next EU 8.8 billion installment of the bailout. But privatization is a prerequisite for receiving the bailout funds" reports The Telegraph.
With each successive bailout installment the Greek government has to meet strict criteria. This has led to the sell-off of Greece's assets. It seems little, if anything, is off limits.
Prime building plots are being sold off. Pristine sandy beaches, Historical buildings.The small island of Skorpios – previously owned by the Onassis family – off the coast of the island of Lefkas, was bought by a Russian oligarch earlier this month for a reported £65 million. In March the Emir of Qatar bought six islands for £7 million. Greece has tons of islands, some tiny and uninhabited, but it is still a sad state of affairs that Greece is for sale to the highest bidder.
Greece is holding what must be the largest fire-sale in history.
One Greek man said "We are like a bankrupt housewife forced to sell the silver, to save the family. "Greece has no choice." Not everyone agrees though.
The Greek Island of Rhodes is particularly vulnerable, The Telegraph reports "nearly a third of its land is owned by the government, a legacy of being occupied during the Italian invasion in 1912 and later having ownership of that land passed over to Athens when it became part of the modern Greek state". As if that was not bad enough inspectors are combing the island looking for any other assets worth selling.
Greece is struggling to meet its targets as buyers for the assets are proving difficult to find. Privatization though is demanded by those agreeing to bail out Greece. It means that Greece is looking at a poverty stricken future. It will constantly have to go to its wealthy EU partners cap in hand.
There are reports that some oppose the privatization, including the Syriza Party:- "We need to keep state ownership of all our assets – not sell them to the highest bidder," complained Yiannis Milios, chief economist for the opposition Syriza party, who would prefer to see more use of public-private partnerships, rather than sales. "Experience shows that the privatisation of public goods is a very bad idea. With water, for instance, the quality falls but the price rises, which is totally wrong. The government is very good at finding legal formulas to work its way round supposed guarantees of public interest. It is not a good idea at all."
Many see privatisation as the saviour of the Greek people. One economist though says that Greece should leasehold assets rather than selling them off. Future generations of Greeks will have no assets left.
The EU is supposed to be a community but these days it acts more like a band of thieves. Surely the price demanded of Greece is too high?
Surely it is time to abandon the EU and its corruption?