Greece: OLTH privatization a top priority of new Shipping ministry leadership

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(EUROKINISSI/ÃÉÙÑÃÏÓ ÊÏÍÔÁÑÉÍÇÓ)

Panayiotis Kouroumblis was appointed Greek Shipping and Island Policy Minister following a cabinet reshuffle announced last Friday by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Kouroublis takes over from Theodore Dritsas.

The first and priority on the agenda of the new Shipping Minister – who was previously Greece’s Interior Minister – is to complete an international tender for the sale of a majority stake and the management of the Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH).

Completion of the tender to sell 67 percent of the Thessaloniki Port Authority is expected to be concluded in February 2017, based on the current timetable. Several delays have already plagued the tender.

One of the pending issues is the level of investment a new concessionaire will be obliged to make, with previous figures of between 300 to 350 million euros now giving way to a number as low as 180 million euros.

If the tender for the port of Thessaloniki materializes swiftly, next up for possible privatization are 11 regional port authorities around the country.

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