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State Legal Council examines Skorpios sale

Island sold despite conditions in Onassis's will

Finance ministry asks the State Legal Council to determine whether the island's recent sale to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev undermines the interests of the state

(maps.google.gr) (maps.google.gr) The finance ministry has referred the issue of the sale of Skorpios, the holiday island once owned by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, to the State Legal Council, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras confirmed on Monday.

In reply to a parliamentary question from New Democracy MP Yiannis Michelakis, Stournaras said that the council has been asked to determine whether the sale undermines the interests of the state and how those can be best protected.

Michelakis had earlier pointed out that Onassis's will stated that the island could not be sold or leave the family.

Specifically, Onassis stated in his will that the island would remain in the family as long as they could afford to cover its maintenance expenses. According to the will, if his descendants could not cover the expenses, the island would be donated either to Olympic Airways or to the state.

The Ionian island was purchased in April by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has a history of acquiring trophy properties.

It was sold by Onassis' 28-year-old granddaughter, Athena Onassis Roussel, the only surviving descendant of the shipping magnate.

Rybolovlev, owner of Monaco football club, reportedly bought the island for his daughter. The two of them arrived to the island by helicopter on Monday.

The mayor of the nearby island of Meganisi, Efstathios Zavitsanos, who is administratively responsible for Skorpios, has said the deal is likely to be a long-term lease, since the island cannot be sold.

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Aristotle Onassis
Legal Council of State
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Yannis Stournaras