The Greek government is denying a report that Minister of Mercantile Marine, Aegean and Island Policy, Kostis Mousouroulis told some 70 representatives of the Greek shipping industry that envoys of the country’s international lenders wanted 23 islands with fewer than 150 inhabitants to be evacuated permanently to reduce the cost of sending ships there.
The report was in Protothema on Oct. 11 and referred to the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) which is putting up $325 billion in rescue loans but wants the country to keep imposing more austerity measures to reduce costs.
The Greek side was quoted as saying the Troika request was insane and that the government would not comply with a request that would force people out of their homes. The report spread rapidly and set off a firestorm of criticism, causing the Finance Ministry to issue an immediate denial of the story as “plain rumors.”
The Mercantile Marine Ministry downplayed the story. The government, has, however produce a list of small, uninhabited islands it wants to lease or sell to raise revenues.
Greek islands with a population of fewer than 150 residents are:
Kira Panagia, Alonisos 10
Kato Koufonisi 60
Dokos, Idra 43
Kastos, Leykada 78