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The new owner of the island of Onassis meets with Antonis Samaras

27 June 2013 / 13:06:51  GRReporter
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Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev who has recently bought Aristotle Onassis’ island, Skorpios, met with the Greek Prime Minister. While the paparazzi were looking for his yacht in the Ionian Sea, he was in Athens, where he talked with Antonis Samaras for about half an hour.

Their meeting took place following publications and statements in the press that questioned the legality of Skorpios’ transfer of ownership. According to them, Article 9 of the will of Aristotle Onassis states that if his heirs cannot bear the cost of maintaining the island, it should be transferred to the Greek state or to Olympic Airlines.

Yiannis Mihelakis, a deputy at the time and Interior Minister at present, had initiated the discussion by submitting a parliamentary question to the attention of the Ministry of Finance. In it he urged "the authorities to intervene in the purchase of Skorpios and protect the public interest."

The answer of Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras was that he would forward the request to the Legal Council of State to investigate whether the public interests were at risk.

According to sources, during his meeting with the Russian billionaire, Antonis Samaras tried to allay his fears by saying that if the purchase of the island was legitimate, there would be no problems on the part of the Greek state.

Dmitry Rybolovlev’s associates have been saying from the outset that the deal of Skorpios and Sparti’s transfer of ownership is completely legal. The islands had been acquired through the purchase of a company to which they belonged.

Legal circles, however, raise the question of how many generations of descendants the conditions of Aristotle Onassis’ will affect and of whether they apply to his granddaughter Athina.

Rybolovlev discussed with the Greek Prime Minister his investment in Skorpios as well as his future investment plans in Greece. According to some sources, he is particularly interested in investing in tourism estates. People close to him confirm that the "king of fertilizers" does not perceive Greece as just a place where he will spend his holidays. In this connection, his series of meetings with leaders of the Greek authorities in recent days is not coincidental.

In addition to the Prime Minister, Dmitry Rybolovlev had met and dined with representatives of the local government in Lefkada. People who attended the dinner state that it took place in a pleasant atmosphere and that the Russian billionaire showed his desire to be on good terms with the local communities. According to them, he is an open and affectionate man. The dinner was held at a tavern in Lefkada, where Rybolovlev had arrived incognito with his closest associates.

It is expected that Dmitry Rybolovlev will stay in Greece for 10 days. Currently, he is enjoying the beauty of Skorpios together with friends from Russia but this time his daughter and owner of the island Ekaterina is not present. It is not excluded that the luxury yachts moored near Skorpios will set off on a cruise in the Ionian Sea in the coming days.

The security measures on Skorpios are draconian and the yachts “Ocean Victory” and “Anna” at the port of Onassis’ former paradise are drawing the interest of the visitors and tourists in Lefkada and in other surrounding areas.

What is important for the local authorities is for Skorpios to be revived. They argue that this would be a life-giving injection to the region and are anticipating the completion of the plans of the new owner Ekaterina Rybolovleva.

Tags: SkorpiosDmitry RybolovlevAntonis SamarasIslandWillAristotle Onassis
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