The Greek government is selling off some of its 6,000 islands to foreign buyers in an effort to pay off the country’s staggering debt.

Earlier this month, Hollywood star Johnny Depp reportedly bought the isle of Stroggyli, near Kastellorizo, for an estimated €4.2m.

The deal was mediated by the UK property agency that supposedly handled Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s purchase of the island Gaia in the Ionian.

Greek newspaper Proto Thema recently revealed that American tycoon Warren Buffett had bought the 300 acre island of Agios Thomas for €15m in partnership with Italian real estate magnate Alessandro Proto.

The two released a statement denying the acquisition, but expressed their intention to invest in the wider region.

With only 227 of Greece’s islands inhabited. Makis Perdikaris, director of Greek Island Properties, told reporters he was unhappy at the prospect of the outright sale of state land.

“I am sad. Selling off your islands or areas that belong to the people of Greece should be used as the last resort,” he said.

But Mr Perdikaris said he was not necessarily against long-term leases.

“The first thing is to develop the economy and attract foreign domestic investment to create the necessary infrastructure. The point is to get money.”

Aside from Stroggyli, Agios Thomas and Gaia, another 16 islands were officially listed for sale this month. Also available are Tragonisi and St John’s in the Gulf of Saronikos, Kythnos Island Parcel in the Cyclades, Omfori, Nissos Sofia and Nissos Makri in the Ionian Sea, Patroklos in Lavreotiki, Vouvalos in Amvrakikos Gulf and Kardiotissa.