A decision by Greece’s highest court has temporarily halted important investments at the country’s largest port in Piraeus, including a highly anticipated upgrade of a cruise terminal affecting at the same time other key projects at smaller ports.
The ruling by Greece Council of State not only stops landmark investments at Piraeus port by key stakeholder Chinese shipping giant Cosco but also creates a new legal framework setting new terms and conditions for the approval of other master plans for the up-for-privatization ports of Alexandroupolis, Kavala and Igoumenitsa.
One of the key projects slated for Piraeus, the cruise terminal expansion project, has come to a halt just as the Greek Tourism Ministry announced an increase in cruise ship arrivals and home-porting activity this year.
In its ruling, the Council of State said that the approved port investment plan by Cosco was incomplete and had to be modified. It went on to note that a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had still not been submitted.
Commenting on the issue, the PPA said it was “committed to implementing its large-scale investment plan in the country, including any possible modifications deemed necessary, based on the decisions of the relevant administrative and judicial authorities and in full alignment with the Concession Agreement with the Greek State”.
It added in its statement that “as a trusted, reliable and long-term investor, PPA is closely cooperating with the Greek authorities for the best possible outcomes, while giving full effect to all relevant decisions and instructions”.
According to local media, Cosco may be required to submit a new master plan.