Shipping Minister Claims Piraeus Port Sale is Not Completed



dritsas-thumb-largeShipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas claims that the sale of the Piraeus Port to Chinese company Cosco that was signed on Friday is not completed and that he disagrees with the privatization.

“There is still a lot to be done until the sale of the shares in June,” Dritsas said, adding that there is a series of legal procedures that hae to be completed first. He said that only 51 percent of the shares are sold so far.

Dritsas signed the agreement with Cosco on Friday with ceremonial tones in the presence of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Cosco bought 67 percent of the shares. The Greek prime minister praised the deal, stating that the sale of the Piraeus Port will bring development in the area and open job positions.

However, Dritsas said he disagrees with the deal and claims the government was forced to sell Piraeus Port by its creditors because the previous government had agreed to it. He also stated that he will create a new public authority port in Piraeus.

“The sale of the port is done in order to satisfy the lenders, not development purposes,” he said, attacking the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).

“It (HRADF) operates as a state within a state. It is an authority that runs parallel to the government elected by the Greek people. We must restrict HRADF’s unacceptable operation,” he said adding, “Does HRADF exploit or privatize public assets? HRADF is a lenders’ creation, not a government’s creation.”

Dritsas also doubted HRADF president Stergios Pitsiorlas who said that with Cosco’s investment the port will become more competitive and 2,000 jobs will be created. The shipping minister said that would never happen and that the jobs will be subcontracts.