Chinese conglomerate Cosco Holdings dismissed an offer by the representatives of the Greek ruling party, Syriza, to modify its original blueprint for redevelopment of the Piraeus port. The Syriza proposal envisages the creation of a super mall within the $500 million blueprint.
So far covert deliberations between the two sides have reached an impasse. Syriza officials require the breakup of the business blueprint into two dissociate projects, with the first part satisfying the terms of existing agreements concluded between Cosco officials and Greece’s privatisation agency (HRADF). The second project would incorporate non-obligatory schemes such as the creation of a new mall within the port of Piraeus, accompanied by hotels and business complexes. The Chinese conglomerate has declined these proposals. The greatest objections centre on two thorny issues. The first entails the possible construction of a mall adjacent to the area of a new cruise ship terminal. Construction costs for the cruise vessel terminal are projected to reach $200 million and Syriza officials claim the presence of a nearby shopping centre will facilitate faster returns on the expended capital. The Chinese representatives nonetheless have made their own business plans for the creation of a new local market near the new terminal. The Chinese officials have also found an unexpected ally in their objections, local shop-owners from Piraeus who also feel threatened from a possible erection of a new shopping centre in the port.
The second point of contention lies in the eventual creation of a new logistics centre in a 12-hectare piece of land near the Keratsini municipality. Syriza officials want to divert the construction towards the Thriasio industrial complex, farther west from the intended location. This objective serves a two-fold purpose: relieves the heavily populated area of Keratsini from the additional burden of transiting merchandise and improves the infrastructural capabilities of the Thriasio area. However, the Chinese representatives do not opt out for the Thriasio solution, given the greater distance that trucks would have to cover from the Piraeus port until the new logistics headquarters.