China’s COSCO 800-Million Euro Piraeus Overhaul Gets Scrutiny


N. Ikonio, Perama, Piraeus. (Photo: Eurokinissi/Georgia Panagopoulou)

ATHENS – Moving fast after the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA had stymied the project, the new New Democracy Shipping Ministry is reviewing an 800-million euro ($880.84 million) Master Plan by the Chinese company COSCO which operates the port of Piraeus to upgrade it.

That comes after officials from the new government had meetings with those from COSCO as well as regional and municipal officials, some of whom are concerned that the plan, which includes a new mall, could provide too much competition from local businesses which don't want it.

The scheme also includes plans to construct a new container pier for 330 million euros ($363.35 million) and work to overhaul facilities to attract bigger cruise liners that are important to bringing in tourists, the country's biggest revenue producer.

The mall would be revised to be a duty-free model shopping arcade next to the cruise ship terminal instead of making it open to all shoppers, limiting who could use it, and the revised plan is said to also eliminate repair and shipyard projects included in the first plan, said Kathimerini.