Greek island for sale: Yours for just $17 million

THESSALONIKI - An uninhabited private island off the coast of Greece will go on auction at a starting price of 10 million euros (S$16.7 million) in September, the company organising the sale announced Wednesday.

The sale of the island, part of the Spalathronisia archipelago that sits 500 metres (0.3 miles) from the Halkidiki peninsula, a tourist hotspot in northern Greece, is just the latest from the country's crisis-hit landowners.

The auction of the 10.4-hectare (25.7-acre) Aegean island looks set to outstrip the sale in March of six Ionian private islands to the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who reportedly paid 8.5 million euros for them.

Greece's privately owned islands have been sold off in greater numbers due to a recent increase in property taxes by the government as it attempts to refill its coffers after four years of economic crisis.

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev's daughter bought the Greek resort island of Skorpios in April, where shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s, Rybolovlev's spokesman said.

The sale price was not specified, but Greek media reports placed the value of Skorpios at more than 100 million euros.

The Greek government has also got in on the act, but has agreed to long-term loans rather than sales of its own island assets.

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