Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court has suspended an investment plan for the country’s largest port that was part of a 2016 concession agreement between the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco).
In their ruling on Monday, the Council of State judges found that previous approvals of the so-called Piraeus master plan did not take into account the lack of an environmental impact report for various aspects of the investment, as required by the European Commission and national regulations.
Among other interventions and additions, the investment plan provides for the expansion of the existing passenger port and the creation of a new, larger import terminal for vehicles, additional storage facilities, hotels, parking and more.
As part of a 2016 privatization deal, Cosco acquired a 51% stake in OLP for €280m and committed to an investment of around €294m over five years to buy an additional 16% stake.
Sources of Athens News say that this measure is connected with the US economic opposition to China. “We are shooting ourselves in the foot,” said the interlocutor of “A.N.” on condition of anonymity: “In exchange for illusory promises of protection from Turkey, we refuse real investments that bring hundreds of millions of euros in taxes and fees to the country’s budget.”