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Greece government to go ahead with Piraeus port privatisation

LBR Staff Writer Published 11 February 2015

Greece plans to continue with the privatisation of its major port Piraeus, as the new Leftist government tries to pull in funds from international creditors to prevent defaulting on debts.

Piraeus Port Greece

A senior finance ministry official was quoted by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) as saying: "The Piraeus sale is on. It will proceed as planned."

This step is however a complete u-turn, as the Syriza-led government had announced to stall the privatisation proposals.

The decision to sell 67% stake in the Piraeus Port Authority to the troika of creditors including the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund has been taken to receive bailout funds.

Located few miles to the south of the country capital Athens, the container port is the chief support for Greece's shipping industry and is one of the largest Mediterranean ports.

The sale of the port is likely to raise up to €800m. Binding offers for the sale are expected by March end this year.

The previous government had shortlisted port operators Cosco-APM Terminals and International Container Terminal Services for the privatisation initiative.

APM Terminals spokesperson Tom Boyd was cited by WSJ as saying: "We are awaiting word from the new government on the privatization process.

"We remain committed to the development of Greece. In terms of reforms, the port privatization is a positive opportunity for investment and growing the economy."

Image: Partial view of Port of Piraeus in Greece. Photo: courtesy of Nikolaos Diakidis / Wikipedia