GR US

Chinese Company COSCO Gets Bigger Stake Running Piraeus' Port

Ευρωκίνηση

The port of Piraeus. (Photo by Eurokinissi, file)

ATHENS – China's major port management company COSCO, which has a 51 percent stake in Greece's biggest port of Piraeus, will get more of an operating share under an amended deal approved by the Parliament controlled by the ruling New Democracy.

Under a 2016 Greek privatization deal when the former Radical Left SYRIZA was in power, COSCO Shipping got the majority stake for 280 million euros ($324.48 million) and since then has made the port one of the busiest in Europe.

COSCO then said it would invest 294 million euros ($340.71 million) in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and buy another 16 percent share for an additional 88 million euros ($101.98 million) by August, 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic brought snags.

In a report, the news agency Reuters said that COSCO and Greek officials agreed to amend the original deal which they said would “settle effectively” all issues which arose during the implementation of the mandatory investments.

Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis said COSCO has concluded only a third of the mandatory investments or about 99 million euros ($114.73 million) but said it was because of mitigating circumstances such as suits and bureaucracy as well.