Gov’t, PCT ease China’s worries

Sources from the local subsidiary of Chinese shipping giant Cosco Pacific have told Kathimerini that they are not worried about the operation of Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT).

“Nothing of what the members of the new government have said disputes the concession and the recently approved amendment to the contract, concerning the investment of 230 million euros in the construction and operation of the western part of Terminal III,” a PCT source stressed. It added that, “on the contrary, [Athens] spoke of the government’s respect for the contracts and obligations the Greek state has undertaken,” referring to statements by Alternate Minister for Shipping Theodoris Dritsas on Wednesday. However the sources only spoke about the PCT concession contract, not the cancellation of the tender for the sale of 67.7 percent of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP).

Dritsas and Economy and Shipping Minister Giorgos Stathakis met on Thursday with representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Athens. The Shipping Ministry said that the meeting “confirmed the common positions of both sides for the upgrading of relations between Greece and China on multiple levels,” with an agreement “for the promotion of a constructive dialogue to strengthen cooperation.”

This was less than 12 hours after Beijing expressed concerns about the cancellation of the OLP tender – which Cosco had been the favorite to win – and the future of Cosco’s investment in Piraeus.

Diplomatic sources explained to Kathimerini that Beijing was eager to stress the significance it attributes to Chinese investments implemented and planned in Greece.