World / Europe

Greece halts port sale to China

( Updated: 2015-01-28 11:05

Greece halts port sale to China

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister and winner of the Greek parliamentary elections, Alexis Tsipras (2nd L), walks with members of his cabinet in Athens, January 27, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

The newly-elected Greek government announced on Tuesday that it will halt privatization of Greece's biggest port, stopping its cooperation with China's Cosco Group on sale of Piraeus Port.

"The Cosco deal will be reviewed to the benefit of the Greek people," said Thodoris Dritsas, the deputy minister in charge of the shipping portfolio.

The planned sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority was agreed under its international bailout deal for which China's Cosco Group and four other suitors had been shortlisted.

The port deal was deemed as a good example of Sino-Greece cooperation by former Greek PM Antonis Samaras who said Cosco's investment had created more jobs in the country.

China’s transportation giant COSCO Group, the fifth-largest container terminal operator in the world, won a 35-year concession to expand two main container terminals at the port in 2008.

Under COSCO, the port’s annual cargo handling capacity over the past seven years has tripled to reach 2.52 million 20-foot-equivalent container units in 2013, creating more than 1,000 jobs for local people.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's leftist Syriza party had announced before the election it would halt the sale of state assets, a plank of the 240 billion-euro bailout agreement. Stakes in the port of Thessaloniki, the country's second biggest, along with railway operator Trainose and rolling stock operator ROSCO are also slated to be sold.

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