Will gov’t sail through port test?

Piraeus Port (OLP) must begin normal operations once again without any further delay. The new government must respect the concession deal awarded by the previous conservative government to China’s Cosco and which granted the Beijing-based company control of two of Piraeus’s container terminals. The newly elected PASOK government has so far failed to clarify where it stands with regard to the ongoing strike by the dockworkers who are concerned about their futures under the Cosco management. The Socialist administration’s awkward stance is fraught with many dangers because it sends the wrong signal to foreign investors and, at the same time, encourages local unionists to persist with strike action, strangling the market further. The strike at OLP has presented the nascent administration of George Papandreou with its first crucial test. The next few days could show us whether this new government’s action is driven by the specter of political cost.