New Democracy responds to opposition statement over port concession

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party responded on Tuesday to statements made by a candidate for the main opposition SYRIZA party, suggesting a renegotiation of several privatization projects and in particular of the cargo terminal at the country’s main port in Piraeus.

“SYRIZA is planting a bomb against investments,” New Democracy party spokeswoman Maria Spyraki said on Tuesday in response to comments by leftist candidate Thodoris Dritsas, who has been nominated as an MP for the port city.

The leftists are saying, Spyraki argued, “that they do not recognize the agreement reached by our country with Cosco for Piraeus.”

Earlier Dritsas had suggested that if SYRIZA forms a government after Sunday’s general elections, it would re-examine major privatization deals. He referred specifically to the concession of part of Piraeus Port to Chinese shipping giant Cosco.

Speaking on Alpha 98.9 radio, Dritsas said that “public control” of the country’s ports is a “necessary prerequisite” for rebuilding Greece’s productivity. He criticized the agreement with the Chinese firm, saying that it “helps the company’s profitability but does not contribute any added value to the Greek production process.”