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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Greece's New Shipping Minister Stalls Port Privatization

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.
By Aiswarya Lakshmi

January 29, 2015

Image by: Port Authority of Piraeus

Image by: Port Authority of Piraeus

 Thodoris Dritsas is taken charge as Greece's new shipping minister following the electoral victory of the country's left-wing party Syriza. Among the first decision of the Ministry is halting privatization of Greece's biggest port. 

“We will not sell a majority stake in Port Authority of Piraeus (PPA)," said Thodoris Dritsas, Deputy Minister for shipping. A 67 percent stake in the port had been slated to be sold under one of the austerity measures the previous Greek government had agreed to take.
China’s Cosco Group was among four international companies bidding on a 67% stake in Piraeus Port Authority.
Thodoris Dritsas, Greece’s new deputy minister in charge of shipping told Reuters that the Cosco deal will be reviewed “to the benefit of the Greek people”.
The privatization of the port was one of the key passages of the program to sell state assets agreed with the troika and was part of a EUR240bn bailout agreement. A sale of Greece’s second biggest port, Thessaloniki, was planned and now hangs in the balance under the country’s new government, as does the sale of railway operator Trainose and rolling stock operator ROSCO.
COSCO is said already to manage two of the port’s cargo piers. Last year COSCO announced it would invest heavily in Piraeus, with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang saying "the port of Piraeus can become a Chinese gateway to Europe."
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