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New proposal on track for Hellenic ports' privatization process Dated : 19-10-2007

Today, the newly elected government is in search of a way to keep everyone happy, without having to compromise in the core essence of the process, which is to grant access to the ports' handling and operation activities into private foreign investors.
One of these ways is expected to be the concessioning of the ports' activities into a private party, but the simultaneous retaining of a small part of them by the State. This is hoped that will calm the workers' reactions to the whole process, minimizing the risk of a new failure. Nevertheless, the need to increase the ports' competitiveness and modernize their infrastructure is of capital value and importance, given that time isn’t an allay in today's rapidly evolving environment. This new idea will prevent the rising of a private monopoly in Piraeus or Thessalonica, since the State will act as guarantee.
If these plans get the ''green light'', they will be announced until the end of the month, when new boards will be elected. Then the tendering process will set sail at the beginning of next year. Let's hope that this time around, we won't witness the chaotic effects of another strike, which almost caused the closure of several freight forwarders and shipbrokers offices and threatened to provoke irrepearable damage to a number of shipping companies.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News
Source: Friday, 19.10.2007, 12:31am (GMT),

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