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Greek private islands being sold off after tax hike

A spike in private island sales in Greece is likely due to higher taxes for island owners who inherited land.

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Private island sales in Greece have recently spiked with economic worries. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Sales of Greece's small, private islands are spiking due to higher land taxes recently introduced by the Greek government, according to Kathimerini.

The recent glut of smaller islands on the property market has seen their prices decline.

According to Kathimerini, the spike in island sales is mostly among families who inherited the land years ago and who are now burdered by high land taxes.

It is unclear whether the new buyers are foreign.

Yet one example is the island, Oxia, near the fabled Ithaca, which was sold by a prominent Greek family to Qatar's royal family for well below the asking price of six million euros.

Patroklos island near Athens is said to be under consideration by a Canadian developer, according to ANSA.

Skorpios, an island owned by the Onassis family in the Ionian sea, has been up for sale for a number of years with Bill Gates and Giorgio Armani said to have considered purchasing it.

Land sales have also been a way for the struggling Greek government to increase revenue.

Reuters reported that Greece hopes to raise 50 billion euros by 2015 in the sale of over 70,000 properties, which include buildings, land and beachfront space.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120420/greece-selling-smaller-islands-bring-revenue