Greek media praise Chinese shipping giant's acquisition of majority stake in Greek port
Some Greek media praised the signing of the sale of a majority stake of Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) to China COSCO Shipping during the weekend, saying it has furthered the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
An article entitled "Piraeus Port -- a gateway for the Sino-European Route" on the financial newspaper Naftemporiki (Shipping Trade News) said that Greece is at the center of Chinese investments after the signing of the deal between Greece's privatization fund HRADF and China COSCO Shipping on Friday.
Another article entitled "COSCO era for the port: Investments, growth, jobs" was published on the financial news website www.capital.gr.
"A new era of growth is foreshadowed, which aims to make Piraeus port the largest container hub in Europe," it said.
"The most immediate and important added value of the privatization of the port is the positive investment message sent to the international community," the article said.
Another report entitled "A new page has opened in the Sino-Greek relations with the sale of PPA" was published on the financial newspaper Imerisia (Daily).
"An important milestone for the privatization program was achieved. An agreement between Greece's privatization fund HRADF and China COSCO Shipping Corporation for the sale of the majority stake in PPA was signed, sealing the first major privatization since SYRIZA came to power," the article said.
Under the deal the Chinese investors will pay 280.5 million euros(319.71 million U.S. dollars) to HRADF for the initial acquisition of a 51 percent stake, while it will pay another 88 million within five years for the remaining 16 percent, provided it has implemented the agreed investments in the port.
Since 2009, China COSCO Shipping's subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) has been operating Piers II and III at Piraeus port under a 35-year concession agreement. In 2015, the container throughput of Piraeus Port increased to 3.36 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) from 880,000 TEU in 2010, while the global ranking of Piraeus Port also increased significantly from 93rd to 39th in terms of container capacity.