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June 10, 2010

Numbers continue to crumble on Greek economy: China may bring in $1 billion in investments

China may put $1 billion or more into Piraeus upgrades

Anthony Faiola at the Washington Post on the "modern silk road" of China pulling in the opposite direction of world investment trends:

"Spurred on by government incentives and bargain-basement prices, the Chinese are planning to pump hundreds of millions -- perhaps billions -- of euros into Greece even as other investors run the other way. The cornerstone of those plans is the transformation of the Mediterranean port of Piraeus into the Rotterdam of the south, creating a modern gateway linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa.

...The Greek government, for its part, is taking on the powerful unions in a bid to ensure that the Chinese can introduce dramatic changes to increase efficiency and productivity. That effort has ironically turned the Greek Communist Party -- which is closely aligned with the labor unions -- into the fiercest critic of China's economic march on Greece.

...Greeks see Chinese investment as nothing short of a gift from the gods. The biggest question facing the troubled European Union is how nations with uncompetitive economies such as Portugal, Spain and Greece can reinvent themselves...

Also see from 2009 "China to the Rescue?"


June 15, 2010

News that China would be signing on to a big improvement and upgrade deal at the port of Pireas has come to pass (AP story via

"Debt-plagued Greece has been seeking to boost investments from China, and Chinese shipping and transport giant Cosco Group has said it is looking to expand its Greek operations. The company already operates two container terminals at Greece's largest port of Piraeus, on a 35-year concession worth $1 billion that was finalized last year."

And why is China interested in Greece?

"Shipping is one of Greece's main industries, with Greeks controlling nearly 20 per cent of the world's merchant fleet."

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