Privatization of Piraeus Port Back on Track?

Plans to privatize Piraeus port in Greece are being put back on track, despite the intention of the country’s new government led by the left-wing party Syriza to stop the sale, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Namely, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is going to tell his eurozone counterparts that the sale plans are resumed, at a meeting today in Brussels, the US newspaper claims citing a government official.

“The Piraeus sale is on. It will proceed as planned,” the Journal quoted a senior finance-ministry official as saying.

On the other hand, Government spokesperson Gabriel Sakellaridis said that Greece was no longer discussing the privatisation of the country’s two biggest ports in Piraeus and Thessaloniki, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The Greek Finance Ministry denied on Tuesday that the sale plans have been resumed, however; the ministry said that it was “positively inclined” to the existing deal with Chinese shipping giant Cosco for the container terminal, the International New York Times informed.

The plan underlies selling of 67% stale in Piraeus Port Authority and there are five contenders already selected for the deal by the old government, including China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO).

The privatization scheme has been agreed to be supported by international lenders: the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The sale is valued at approximately USD 908 million.

World Maritime News Staff

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