Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Live from Posidonia

Greek PM Tsipras set for Beijing visit to resolve Pireaus port sale issues

Greek PM Tsipras set for Beijing visit to resolve Pireaus port sale issues
Greece's Prime minister Alexis Tsipras is set to visit Beijing early July provided a number of outstanding issues are resolved including approval of the EUR368.5m ($412m) sale of the Piraeus Port Authority¹s (PPA) concession to Cosco Pacific.

To ensure the visit takes place under the best possible circumstances the government is keen to wrap up the deal as China has made it clear nothing will proceed unless the issue of Piraeus port is irrevocably concluded, and without any unpleasant surprises.

Indeed, there are suggestions Beijing has not yet agreed on the dates of the trip by Tsipras and some cabinet members because of some "outstanding
issues". 2 - 6 July, has provisionally been penciled in but not finally agreed.

Completion of the transaction for the sale of 67% of the PPA Cosco hit new obstacles at the PPA extraordinary general meeting, May 31, which was
adjourned without even discussing the main item on the agenda, the approval of the concession contract, signed 8 April.

After the board approved the company's new charter, which excludes union representatives from the board, its chairman Yiannis Kouvaris adjourned the meeting to reconvene 10 June at the Athens Stock Exchange, where the concession will top the agenda.

Many talk of a trench war being conducted by those opposed to the deal signed by Greece's privatisation agency (Taiped) and the Cosco Group.

Shipping and Island Policy minister, Thodoris Dritsas, and others at the Ministry are opposed to the sale while the Shipping ministry has not yet
approved the plan for the management of PPA¹s solid waste even though the port authority submitted it in October 2014.

Greece and China has expressed a desire to cement stronger economic cooperation but there are some major issues to be dealt with, including
the Piraeus deal. The rough ride Cosco has faced over Piraeus port is being presented as the reason no Chinese group is among the tenders for rail services operator Trainose, after China had originally indicated it was keen to tender. China is also said to be a possible reason why the tenders for
the Thriasio freight center west of Athens has been postponed along with that for the new airport at Iraklion in Crete.