ECONOMY

Port tender brings welcome offers

The first stage of the tender for the container station in Piraeus port ended yesterday with the tabling of bids by two foreign companies. The offers by Chinese firm Cosco and British-Chinese company Hutchison have given government officials satisfaction, if not relief, as this means the reform of port facilities remains on course. However, shipping sources argued that they had expected greater interest by companies that handle containers or manage ports for the Piraeus station. They added that unfortunately there were several negative factors that prevented the participation of more companies. Those factors include Piraeus’s delay in completing the procedure (so firms have turned elsewhere), the high cost of the investment, the continuous and vocal resistance to the project by unions and political parties, as well as existing legislation which has dissuaded several investors.