China concerned over OLP privatization delays

zou_xiaoli

Beijing has expressed its concern that the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) could be about to enter another long period of delays after Cosco Pacific was recently selected as the preferred bidder by the Greek Privatization Fund “TAIPED”.

“The Chinese side hopes that the texts [of the agreement] will clear the Hellenic Court of Auditors and the Parliament as early as possible, for the most important project of cooperation between our two countries to proceed, fetching immediate benefits to the two peoples,” Chinese ambassador to Athens Zou Xiaoli stated at an event held to launch a stamp issue for “2015 – Greece-China Maritime Cooperation Year.”

The statement was not unrelated to the opposition to OLP’s privatization openly expressed by members of the Greek cabinet, Piraeus entities and unionists, nor to the effort by OLP governing board members to delay the implementation of the deal for the concession of a 67 percent stake, issuing decisions of debatable legal stature about a renegotiation of the concession agreement.

Still, Zou described the fact that Cosco was chosen in the OLP tender as “pleasant,” adding that this decision constitutes significant progress in China’s cooperation with Greece.

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