Real and potential investors were shocked on Wednesday to hear new Greek coalition government government ministers announcing the halt of privatizations. Most worried of all, is China with its 35-year concession agreement for its COSCO subsidiary in Piraeus – in operation since 2008 – and its plans to buy large part of Piraeus Port Authority that was offered for privatization in 20014, after Troikas’ pressure to Greeks.
However things do not looks as bad as they were initially looked like: Deputy PM Dragasakis told media that the new government has “a long list for investment opportunities.”
Privatizations and investments will not be banned. Giorgos Dragasakis, deputy PM who also overlooks financial issues told media Wednesday evening:
“If some investors had wrongly invest in a privatization that will not happen, it is now natural that they will change course. We are preparing a long list of infrastructure and investment opportunities available in Greece. Because beyond Greece of misery, there is also Greece of opportunities.”
China worries…. (via Xinhua Chinas” News Agency)
“Chinese shipping conglomerate COSCO Group will continue to run two container terminals of Piraeus port in Greece under a 35-year concession agreement, after Greece’s newly elected government has decided to halt its privatization, an official with the COSCO subsidiary in Greece said on Wednesday.
One of the first decisions announced by the new government was to stop the planned sale of a 67-percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA). COSCO is among one of the suitors for the privatization of PPA.
A senior official of the Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), a subsidiary of the COSCO, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Dritsas was referring to Pier I and other facilities owned by the PPA, not including Pier II and Pier III operated by PCT.
Regarding further information about the suspension, the PCT official said the company had not been notified on this matter and refused to comment.
China is seeking confirmation of Greece’s new government about the privatization of Piraeus port, Greece’s biggest port.
“We have noticed the reports, and are checking with Greece about the issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily press briefing on Wednesday.
Piraeus port has been run by the PCT after the financial crisis in 2008.
Commercial traffic through the port has increased eight-fold since COSCO’s takeover, attracting international giants such as ZTE and Hewlett-Packard to use the cargo terminals as logistics centers for their products.” (Xinhua news agency via ChinaDaily.com)
Alternate minister for Marine Theodoros Dristas announced the cancellation of privatization of “Piraeus Port Authority” (OLP) right after he was sworn-in in Greece’s new cabinet of SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition government on Tuesday. “The public character of OLP will be maintained, the OLP sell-offs stops here,” Dritsas said. Under the bailout program, the majority of stakes (676%) of OLP were to be sold. This move implied that the same will happen with the Port Authority of Thessaloniki.
2014 Greece had picked up COSCO and four others investors for the OLP stakes.
From what the new ministers said, KTG understood that investments and some privatizations will indeed happen, however under new terms & conditions and prices.
It is not a secret, that many of the public assets to be privatized ended up in the hands of the same people – called in Greek “oligarchs” for prices below the real value.
“6.2 thousand acres of the former Athens Airport (Hellinikon) to Lamda Development against 915 millio9n euro.
Last year, a research conducted by the Technical Chamber of Commerce with Christos Spirtzis – now alternate Minister for Infrastructure – being the chairman, had claimed that the value of the former Athens airport was 222% higher than the price offered by Lamda Development. (capital.gr via KTG.com)
While still in opposition, SYRIZA had been criticizing the government of the sale-off of the country.
PS I’m afraid SYRIZA-IndepGreeks coalition has much too many political, ideological and economic opponents in and outside the country, who are nagging on it and do not even allow time to prepare and announce a proper governance program. It it was up to them, SYRIZA should have a program for the next 100 years, and thus prepared and signed Yesterday!