Piraeus Port deal with Cosco faces uncertainty

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Greek government accussed of altering fundamental parts of the agreement

Chinese shipping giant Cosco has pushed the brakes on the Piraeus Port deal, accusing the Greek government of altering fundamental parts of the agreement.

The company issued a statement to privatisation agency TAIPED, claiming that the bill that was submitted to Parliament last week did not adhere to the agreement reached on April 8, and that it was in fact completely overturned and in turn unacceptable, reports Kathimerini.

“Cosco expects the government and TAIPED to implement what they signed on to in the presence of the prime minister,” stated Cosco.

The deal was expected to be ratified ahead of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ arrival in China on Friday.

In an address to Parliament, Greek shipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas admitted to the discrepancies, however he defended the government’s right to make amendments.

“The government will look into it, it will look into the objections and will probably consider making improvements,” he said.

One of the changes noted was the requirement for the Greek state to approve project licensing within 90 days, a significant detail, which if not included in the agreement the company says could likely change the amount it bids for a project, or even discourage the submission of a bid.

The deal, which if all goes ahead as planned will see the sale of a 67 per cent majority stake in the port, is a vital move for Greece in its current economic state, believed to be the catalyst needed to kick-start growth.

Source: Neos Kosmos

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