(Piraeus, Greece) – According to the Piraeus Port Authority, or OLP, China’s Cosco company officially completed its purchase of 51% of the Port of Piraeus with another 16% to be transferred to the company sometime in the future. As part of Greece’s third bailout, the international creditors required that privatization deals such as these to occur in order to generate revenue for the Greek government. The Chinese paid a total of 280.5 million Euros for their 51% stake and the remaining 88 million euros will be due at a later time. In addition to purchase the port, they are also planning to spend about 300 million euros to improve Piraeus’s facilities. It is estimated that the Chinese involvement with Piraeus is expected to boost the GDP by .8% and create roughly 31,000 new jobs from now until 2025.
As part of the transition there were some changes made to the board and they got together this Wednesday for the first time. The president of Cosco, Wan Min, was appointed chairmen of the Piraeus Port Authority and Captain Fu Cheng Qiu, became the CEO, or chief executive officer. Fu Cheng Qiu currently leads Cosco’s subsidiary at the Piraeus counter terminal. Four of the original Greeks are still part of the board, but the Chinese have made other additions. Deng Xiaoli and Angelos Karakostas are both deputy CEO’s, and Ji Fengming of China is now the chief financial officer, or CFO. Athanasius Liagos and Yiannis Kouvaris are Greek state representatives who are also members of the board. The mayor of Piraeus, Yiannis Moralis, will also keep has non-executive position on the board.
Greece has been in a recession since before the first bailout, which took place in 2010. The international creditors have said that in order for Greece to turn its financial situation around, the Greek government needs to increase revenue and minimize government spending. Privatization deals such as these are said to accomplish that.