Greek Culture Ministry Tables New Claim on Piraeus Port Privatization Project



Greece’s Ministry of Culture is asking from the Ministry of Shipping to withdraw a building from the concession of Piraeus Port to China’s Cosco, a Kathimerini report says.

According to the newspaper, General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki sent a letter to Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis dated April 13, asking to exclude the “Silo” building from the Piraeus Port concession agreement because the ministry wishes to house a museum of underwater antiquities in the building.

The facilities, that once operated as transit warehouses for grains, are on the land that the Greek State had granted to the Piraeus Port Authority, and now they belong to main shareholder Cosco.

The letter asks from the shipping minister “To take necessary steps to revoke the current concession for the use and exploitation of the “Silo” building complex and then to give it to the Ministry of Culture and Sports to house the Public Museum of Underwater Antiquities.”

The Ministry of Culture claim doesn’t have a legal ground because in the deal that was signed in 2015 the building is not excluded from the concession. The Ministry of Culture had placed a request for the exception of the “Silo” and its two neighboring stone warehouses from the agreement, but the State decided to include them in the concession. What was excluded from the deal was the coastal area of Drapetsona only.