Debt-Choked Euro Zone Nations Unloading Tony Real Estate Abroad

on May 14 2013 1:34 PM

Swanky real estate properties belonging to some debt-choked euro zone nations are being sold to help repair the countries' balance sheets.

Portugal, the credit rating of which was downgraded less than two years ago to junk status by both Moody’s Investors Services and Fitch Ratings, sold a tony co-op in the posh Dakota apartment building of New York City's prestigious Upper West Side earlier this year, a female employee at the country’s New York City consulate said Tuesday.

The woman declined to comment on the price but disputed a report in the New York Post claiming the eight-room apartment sold for $11.5 million. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund completed a review of the country’s $101.2 billion bailout before releasing another $2.6 billion.

But Lisbon isn’t the only one putting a posh pad in another country on the chopping block.

In September, Greece sold its 10,000-square-foot consular residence in London’s Holland Park after agreeing to raise $15 billion through asset sales by 2016. So far, it has raised about $2.3 billion. The nine-bedroom Victorian villa, owned by the Greek state since 1973, sold for more than $35.6 million, the Guardian reports.

Three other properites were sold in Brussels, Belgrade and Nicosia and, like the London sale, are pending final approval by the Greek Court of Audit, Maria Galanou, a press officer at the Greek embassy in Washington said.

She said two more locations are for sale in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana and in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Last month, Nepali people living in London began protesting the sale of Nepal’s embassy in London as one of the world’s poorest countries sought to pawn off property on one of the world’s most expensive streets. Many felt the sale would be a national embarrassment to a country with long-standing colonial ties to the United Kingdom.

A spokesman for the Nepalese foreign ministry told BBC News that the committee to sell the four-story house in Kensington Palace Gardens was only fact-finding and no decisions had been made.

The property’s worth is estimated at $153 million.

A satirical headline on the London-based news site NepaliSamajUK.com read, "London embassy building sold for peanuts."

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