The 35-year deal between OLP (Piraues Port Authority) with Chinese transport operator Cosco Pacific to run facilities at the country's main port of Piraeus made.
After several months one of the country"s major concession agreements is now final, after the Hellenic Parliament"s official approval of the 35-year deal between OLP (Piraues Port Authority) with Chinese transport operator Cosco Pacific to run facilities at the country's main port of Piraeus. A draft bill on the concession of container facilities was approved by a 149-131 vote with one absention. According to earlier port officials this is the final step in the port"s concession deal, which is expected to put an end to dockworkers" on going protests from the beginning of 2008. They are worried about the new working conditions in the port"s container terminals, despite the fact that Cosco has pledged not only to retain all staff, but also hire new people, needed for the port"s expansion.
The container terminals at Piraeus and the northern port of Thessaloniki are a top privatisation priority for Greece which seeks to exploit its strategic position at the European Union's gateway and maximise trade proceeds. The deal with Cosco was signed in November in the presence of Chinese President Hu Jintao. The Ministry of Mercantile Marine says the concession of Piraeus' docks II and III will bring a guaranteed premium of US$4.2 billion dollars and boost the port's capacity by 250 percent.