Piraeus Port privatization saga drags on

Piraeus Port

Greece’s Syriza-led coalition government is making one final effort to delay the submission of binding bids for the controlling stake in the organization, set for December 15, local media report.

The latest demand made by Greek Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas is for the postponement of the deadline to March, ostensibly so that the privatization project can be better prepared. He also calls for the exemption of the Perama-Salamina ferry service from the concession contract, which, if implemented, would not only reduce the value of the sell-off project but also cause problems to all port authorities that operate ferry services, as local authorities will likely try to claim the management of their respective ferry services, such as Rio-Antirrio in western Greece, Keramoti-Thasos in northern Greece etc.

Dritsas also has certain unexpected demands, such as the exemption from the contract of the OLP buildings that belong to its private property.

According to Kathimerini daily, observers have also noted the belated interest by Infrastructures Minister Christos Spirtzis for an under-water tunnel linking Perama and the island of Salamina, something that would certainly devalue the ferry service and OLP in general.



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