Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Qataris lay claim to our world .... half dozen islands at a time

First,  the stinking Saudis came, saw and bought everything within sight.  Even when I was a teen (decades, decades ago) I remember my dad telling us how the Saudis were hellbent on buying Christian religious grounds like churches and church land to show their superiority over Christians and how the very rich and titled in England, Scotland and all over Europe were eager to sell these and their castles to the Saudis.
Now, we have the putrid Qataris buying up what's left.

Helena Smith writing at TheGuardianUK:
Qatari emir buys six Greek islands  for a song. Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani pays €8.5m for Ionian retreats for family with seller happy to strike deal after 18 months of red tape. 
The suitor is one of the world's wealthiest men; the location happens to be the eurozone's poorest country. But in an unlikely coming together of economic circumstances, the emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has opted to splash out €8.5m (£7.35m) on six idyllic isles in the Ionian sea.
Closure of the deal – the latest in a global shopping spree that has seen the sheikh's property portfolio spread from London to Beijing – has been met with glee in Greece, the west's most bankrupt state, and Doha, where the royal household experienced 18 months of excruciating drama to take possession of the outcrops.
"Greece is that kind of place," said Ioannis Kassianos, Ithaca's straight-talking Greek-American mayor. "Even when you buy an island, even if you are the emir of Qatar, it takes a year and a half for all the paperwork to go through."
The isles, known as the Echinades, caught the oil-rich monarch's fancy when he moored his super-yacht in the turquoise waters off Ithaca, took in the view and liked what he saw. That was four summers ago.....

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