A European Commission decision issued on Monday that orders Greece to recover incompatible state aid from Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) does not apply to any part of the Concession Agreement’s recent expansion through amicable settlement to the Western Pier III and does not affect the tow sides’ economic relations, according to a Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) announcement on Tuesday.
Informing its shareholders and investors about the decision, OLP made the following known:
1. The Concession Agreement between OLP and PCT, which was ratified by Law No. 3755 / 2009, consists of two parts: (a) The text of the Agreement between OLP and Cosco, concerning the concession of Pier II and the construction of the Eastern Pier III of the PCT, signed on November 25, 2008, and (b) Articles 2 and 3 of Law No. 3755/09, which were added to the law by the Finance Ministry.
2. The decision concerns exclusively Article 2 (financial and tax issues) and not Article 1, which is the conventional part of the OLP/Cosco Convention.
3. The decision does not apply to any part of the Concession Agreement’s recent expansion through amicable settlement to the Western Pier III of the PCT ratified by Law No. 4315/14.
OLP underlined that the decision is solely a matter of the PCT in relation to the Greek state and the European Commission.
Yesterday’s European Commission decision noted that certain fiscal benefits granted by Greece in favor of port operator PCT and its parent company Cosco provided the beneficiaries with an undue advantage over their competitors in breach of EU state aid rules. These benefits include tax exemptions and preferential accounting treatment.
“The companies now need to pay back the advantage received to the Greek state. To avoid further distortions of competition, the Greek authorities are also expected to cease granting these advantages to PCT from now on,” according to the decision.