In a move that was highly anticipated, China’s Cosco Group has just made a bid for a majority share in Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), according to the Greek privatization agency. What is rather surprising is that there were no other bidders, which suggests that China’s strategic aims of using the Greek port of Piraeus as getaway to Europe is one step closer to realization.
Relations between Cosco and the Greek authorities rapidly deteriorated with SYRIZA’s rise to power as the new government opted to halt the port’s privatization process after winning the January 2015 election. But as on every other issue, the SYRIZA-led government has been forced to retreat on this matter as well after it signed a new bailout agreement with its euro partners in August 2015.
Details of the bid will become available in the days ahead, but it will be interesting to see what the reaction might be on the part of those individuals and groups in Greece that oppose the policy of privatization, especially with regard to its enforcement on the so-called strategic sectors of the economy.