NEWS

PM eyes ‘strategic’ ties with China as port deal approved

TAGS: Business, Diplomacy, Shipping

MPs approved the sale of a majority stake in Piraeus Port  Authority (OLP) to Chinese shipping giant Cosco early on Friday as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras begins an official visit to Beijing, looking toward a “strategic” partnership with China.

Out of 248 deputies present, 223 voted in favor of the sale, which will give Cosco rights to run Piraeus until 2052, with 25 voting against.

The vote followed a stormy session with New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis accusing the government of pushing away investors with its “trickery.” He was referring to last-minute attempts by the government to make changes to the deal with Cosco that angered the Chinese company.

Cosco was the sole bidder for a 67 percent stake in OLP, Greece’s largest port and one of Europe’s busiest, in a deal that was signed in April.

Tsipras, who left Athens on Friday for a four-day trip to China, told Chinese news agency Xinhua that Greece aims to become “real strategic partners with China.”

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