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15 Mar 2022

Eleni Stamatoukou, Balkan Insight

Greece: Administrative court blocks expansion of China-backed Piraeus port due to lack of environmental assessment

"Greek Court Blocks Expansion of Major Port Under Chinese Deal", 15 March 2022

Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, ruled on Monday that previous government decisions on the expansion of Piraeus port were illegal because the authorities did not carry out an environmental assessment as required by national and European Union regulations.

The decision blocks the expansion of the passenger port of Piraeus and the building of a new passenger terminal as envisaged by an agreement granting a concession to develop the port of Piraeus to Chinese company Cosco Group Limited.

In 2008, when the conservative New Democracy was the ruling party, the Piraeus Port Authority, PPA signed the 4.3 billion euro deal granting the concession for the exploitation of the commercial port for the next 35 years to Cosco, with the goal of developing the port into a logistics centre. [...]

But Cosco’s plans to transform Piraeus into an industrial port zone angered people living nearby, and four years ago campaigners launched a movement against the development called No Port in Piraeus, led by Sotiris Alexopoulos, who recently died. [...]