BUSINESS

Beijing: OLP contract before Tsipras visit

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Diplomacy, Privatizations

The government will try to wrap up all pending issues concerning Greek-Chinese relations over the next four weeks, with the top priority being the outstanding approval of Piraeus Port Authority’s concession to Cosco Pacific. The aim is for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s official visit to Beijing in early July to take place under the best possible conditions.

Although government leaks have suggested that Tsipras will visit China on July 2 to 6, diplomatic sources say that “the precise dates and the cabinet members that will escort him have not yet been decided definitively.” Some sources attribute this delay to Beijing’s strong demand for “the trip to be made under the best possible conditions.”

The agenda of the two countries’ economic cooperation contains many major issues, but China has made it clear that nothing will proceed unless the issue of Piraeus Port is irrevocably concluded, and without any unpleasant surprises. This is also the explanation well-informed sources have offered for the the absence of a Chinese group from the tender for rail services operator Trainose, as well as the postponement of the tenders for the Thriasio freight center and the new airport at Iraklio on Crete.

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