Greek dockworkers take to streets as COSCO seals Piraeus privatisation deal

Piraeus privatisation: Greek dockworkers marched into central Athens in protest yesterday after the Greek government sealed the sale of 67% of the Piraeus Port Authority to China’s  state-owned COSCO Shipping Corporation  on Friday. Cosco was the sole bidder for the stake in Piraeus Port Authority, a listed company that has a concession to operate the port until 2052.
The sale of Greece‘s biggest port had been halted by Alexis Tsipras’s government  when it won elections in January last year but  the process was resumed as part of the €86bn bailout deal that Athens agreed with its eurozone partners in August. COSCO has already been operating one of the port’s container terminals since 2009 and is investing €230m to build a second container terminal; and under the terms of the new €268.5m deal will immediately take control of 51% of the port and the remaining 16% after five years, and once it has invested a further €350m. 
“Let the ship sail and bring the Golden Fleece,” COSCO Chairman Xu Lirong said after the signing, pledging that his company would invest in the  upgrading of the port’s infrastructure and that new jobs would be created. “China COSCO Shipping … will continue to be committed to Greek growth in the long-term.”
The dockworkers were not convinced.”This is not a concession, it’s a giveaway of property belonging to the Greek people,” Constantinos Tsourakis, a worker at the port, said. “Why should China be masters of the game at Piraeus and not the Greek state?”

Source: reuters