Greek gov’t renegotiating sale of Piraeus port with Chinese company: Report
ATHENSThe Greek government is renegotiating the terms under which Piraeus port will be sold to Chinese Cosco, Shipping and Tourism Minister Giorgos Stathakis said in parliament, as reported by the local media.
The Greek government is currently renegotiating the terms under which Piraeus port (OLP) will be sold to Chinese shipping giant Cosco Pacific, according to what Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Minister Giorgos Stathakis said in parliament.
“Our policy is clear and aims at maximizing the benefits of the Greek State. Negotiations with Cosco are underway so that we can find solutions which will form a modern management model for all Greek ports,” Stathakis said.
“The government is called today, in the framework of all the negotiations and openings it has done, to manage in the best way and to radically change the conditions of the agreement with Cosco and we insist on a comprehensive management of the port which will be conducted under the auspices of the State, to fully ensure the interests of the country,” he added.
The minister said the government is dealing with a “situation which it has not created, but has inherited” while he added that talks with the Chinese company are taking place simultaneously with the negotiations with the European institutions and in the framework of a “multilateral geopolitical economic strategy.”
Meanwhile, Greece will also finalize “immediately” a 1.2-billion-euro ($1.3-billion) deal with Fraport to run regional airports as well as reopening bidding for a majority stake in Piraeus port, a senior privatizations official said on May 5, as reported by Reuters.
The asset sales had been in doubt after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist-led government took power in January but may be the latest concessions offered by his government to try to secure more bailout cash from international creditors.
The Greek finance, shipping and economy ministries involved in the sales declined to comment.
“The issue of regional airports will be concluded immediately,” the official at Greece’s privatizations agency HRADF told Reuters on condition of anonymity, noting that an announcement could be expected by May 15.
Tsipras’ government is trying to renegotiate a 240-billion-euro bailout and has said it would review the sales, though various Greek officials have offered contradictory statements on the fate of both the airports and the Piraeus deals.