PM eyes ‘strate­gic’ ties with China as port deal ap­proved

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

MPs ap­provedthe sale of a ma­jor­ity stake in Pi­raeus Port Au­thor­ity (OLP) to Chi­nese ship­ping gi­ant Cosco early yes­ter­day as Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras be­gins an of­fi­cial visit to Beijing, look­ing to­ward a “strate­gic” part­ner­ship with China. Out of 248 deputies present, 223 voted in fa­vor of the sale, which will give Cosco rights to run Pi­raeus un­til 2052, with 25 vot­ing against.

The vote fol­lowed a stormy ses­sion with New Democ­racy leader Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis ac­cus­ing the gov­ern­ment of push­ing away in- vestors with its “trick­ery.” He was re­fer­ring to last-minute at­tempts by the gov­ern­ment to make changes to the deal with Cosco that an­gered the Chi­nese com­pany.

Cosco was the sole bid­der for a 67 per­cent stake in OLP, Greece’s largest port and one of Europe’s busiest, in a deal that was signed in April. Tsipras, who left Athens yes­ter­day for a four-day trip to China, told Chi­nese news agency Xin­hua that Greece aims to be­come “real strate­gic part­ners with China.”

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