The UK is so skint that the Gorgon plans to sell Dover to the French. That, I thought, was an odd way to resolve debt. Selling off the country bit by bit means that by the time the debt is paid, we don't own the country any more.
It's like selling your house, room by room, to pay your mortgage. Sure, the loan is repaid, but you now don't have a house.
Now Greece is skint and the Germans fancy a bit of bloodless conquest too. They think Greece should sell their islands to pay their debt.
Sounds harmless enough. They want the uninhabited islands. What could go wrong?
Suppose we sold one of the Hebridean islands to the Russians. There are people on most of them but not very many. The compensation bill would not be huge. It could be done. That island then becomes Russian territory and they can use it for whatever they want. A prison, a holiday destination, a missile base...
From that distance, a Russian shot-putter could launch a nuclear attack on the mainland. Iceland and Norway might not be too happy about the situation either.
I'm not suggesting that Angela Merkin or whatever her name is would put missiles labelled 'To Athens, Best Wishes from Krautland' on that island but what of her successor, or the one after that? What if another Kaiser Bill or Hitler rose to power?
Likewise the Gorgon's idea to sell Dover's port facilities to a foreign country. We are not at war with France but we have been, many times. It's almost a tradition, a sort of practice sparring we do once in a while before we venture further afield. How will our navy function if the French own the port of Dover? Would we have to attack it?
Before Greece lets the Germans place towels on sunbeds all over their islands, they should consider the future implications of such a move. It's all friends at the moment but that situation has been prone to abrupt change in the past, and could be prone to the same sort of changes in the future. Especially when the EU collapses, as is inevitable given the way it's run. Then we're all separate countries again and the Greeks have a German base on their doorstep. Worse, if the Greeks leave the EU, they would have an EU base on one of their islands. It's not a comfortable feeling.
Selling your home to pay the debt on it is never a good idea. The UK is not in the Euro so could go to the IMF without having to beg permission from the EU. Greece might want to consider reviving the drachma for the same reason.
Or maybe not. Someone with better understanding of economies can maybe come up with a solution that works. All I'll say is that it does not look like a good idea to pay debt with land.
It's a finite resource for any country.