A Tale of Two Ports: The Epic Story of Chinese Direct Investment in the Greek Port of Piraeus

Dr. Sophie Meunier
Publication Date: 
December 14th, 2015

When the Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took office in Greece in January 2015, one of the first of many shocking announcements was the cancellation of the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP in Greek), which controls the ancient port of Athens.[1] The Chinese state-owned company China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), which had been managing two terminals on the port since 2008, was widely expected to become the new majority owner. Why was the Piraeus transaction singled out as an example of a Chinese investment that had to be stopped? And could Greece really go it alone, and risk alienating the country that had become an increasingly important investor since the outset of the Euro crisis? This brief essay will begin to answer these questions, which highlight how Chinese direct investment in Europe simultaneously represents a menace and an opportunity.

This piece, viewable on the Council for European Studies website at http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/critcom/a-tale-of-two-ports-the-epi..., was originally published in CritCom, A Forum for Research and Commentary on Europe. It is posted with the gracious permission of Dr. Sophie Meunier.

**Posting of this report does not represent an endorsement by the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations and has been done to facilitate research and promote debate about multinational corporations/FDI in and from East Asia.