[Spencer Daily Reporter nameplate] Light Rain Fog/Mist and Windy ~ 43°F  
High: 47°F ~ Low: 39°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Time for some International Pickers

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It sounds like it's time for my favorite pair of pickers to go international.

In the wake of Greece's ever-widening debt crisis, its creditors are leaning on the ancient nation to sell off assets to help dig its way out.

That's where Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz, of my guilty pleasure television show, "American Pickers" come in.

The pair are known for jumping in their van, from their store in LeClaire, Iowa, and hitting America's highway and (mostly) byways, in search of, well, junk.

Those two find gold in some of the oddest things that regular folk, and junkers, have rusting in their barns and yards.

Now, I know that Greece is off the beaten track, even for them, but a trip from the Mississippi to the Aegean might very well be worth their while.

Greece, I've learned, has some of the best picking around.

The Parthenon, for instance. While it's bigger than most of the things they pick, I'm sure there's a market out there for circa 432 BC architecture. And, those guys, with their ingenuity and skills, could probably get it all to fit in that Mary Poppins satchel of a van they drive.

Who needs Red Wing pottery, when you can pick up vases from the protogeometrical period (1050-900 BC) for pennies on the dollar.

The famous windmills of Mykonos and Santorini, along with the nifty blue-roofed houses, could make dandy guest houses for the rich and famous here in the U.S., moving them to Malibu would make the commute so much easier.

Then, there's the little knicks and knacks that the boys seem to find - statues with missing arms, coins covered in the grime of ages, beat-up drawings. Yep, it would make a heck of an episode for cable television.

It's easy to make light, half a world away from the protests in the streets, but the crisis in Greece could have a gigantic ripple effect on global markets, indeed it already has. The European Union and International Monetary Fund has already bailed the country out, to the tune of 110 billion Euros, which we now find out wasn't enough.

While the beleaguered prime minister George Papandreou holds meetings with European leaders, Alan Greenspan, the former U.s. Federal Reserve chairman, said chances of the city of Athens heading into default are "so high that you almost have to say there is no way out."

Hence, the pressure on the nation to at least show good faith by selling assets.

While it appears France and Germany appear headed to the rescue, Greece, and the entire European Union, are not out of the woods. The people of Greece will have to agree to even deeper austerity cuts, to state pensions, wages, and services. They're already protesting in the streets, even more hardship could send this boiling pot over the edge.

And, selling assets is a likely scenario.

Not the Parthenon, of course, but state stakes in media, communications, and perhaps some of the countless islands that make up the nation.

So, if you're looking for a little vacation spot, out of the way...

We're gearing up for the traditional midpoint of summer - July 4.

And, fingers crossed, it appears Mother Nature is going to behave.

Enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Have fun, make memories and be careful.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Paula Buenger