eBay has pulled an auction listing for the country of Belgium. Bids began at €1 but rapidly hit €10million before the sale was cancelled. The seller was former journalist Gerrit Six, protesting that the country still has no government 100 days after elections closed. The listing is believed to have said:
“Belgium a kingdom in three parts. Possible to buy it as a whole, but not advisable. Possible the three parts separately but beware of the public debt of 300 million euro.”
Explaining the cancellation of the listing, an eBay spokesman apparently said “We can’t allow bidding on something virtual or unrealistic. People must be able to buy and sell on Ebay in a neutral way.”
Virtual? Last time I checked, Belgium was very much there.