ECONOMY

Massive ports upgrade

Some of the biggest infrastructure projects are soon to be implemented in Greek ports in order to attract foreign investors. Indeed, some projects are being designed at the express request of investors, such as China’s COSCO. The financing protocol recently signed by the Merchant Marine Ministry and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s long-term credit provider, for 3 billion euros, to be repaid in 25 years and with a grace period of between five and seven years, will help finance half the cost of the projects. As part of the application of the protocol, the Piraeus Port Authority has taken out a loan for 35 million euros, to be repaid in 20 years, with a grace period of five years. More ports will follow, such as those in Thessaloniki, Patras, Corfu, Iraklion and Lavrion. The investment plan was discussed yesterday by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis and Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis. According to sources, a delegation from the Dubai Port Authority will arrive on Thursday to discuss the possibilities of participation in port development in Greece. Foreign investors have already expressed interest in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki as regional transport and logistics hubs.