The multinationals are back

Published on 1 March 2013 at 15:22


"Goods train to Europe sees the light of day," announces I Kathimerini, in its report on the February 28 inauguration of a 17km railway connecting the port of Piraeus to the Thriasio logistics platform close to Athens. The new link will boost transport links to central and south-east Europe.

The opening of the line has been eagerly awaited by Chinese firm Cosco, which has operated half the port since 2010 and is seeking to develop its business. “All of the conditions were fulfilled for the signature [on March 1] of an agreement between Cosco and Hewlett Packard, which is planning to make Piraeus a transport hub for its products on their way to Europe,” reports the daily.

The deal, adds I Kathimerini, will help Prime Minister Antonis Samaras convince the troika, which sent a delegation to Athens on the day of the inauguration, that reforms and the government’s privatisation programme are moving forward. Since the start of this week, his coalition government has had multiple meetings with industrial groups like Philip Morris and major banks in its bid to fulfill the objectives assigned by Greece’s creditors: the privatisation of water, power generation, trains, certain airports, race tracks etc.

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Le Monde reports on another story of a multinational returning to Greece, the Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever, which is keen to develop its business in the country —

The company has decided to transfer production of 110 consumer products, which until now have been imported from central and eastern Europe, to Greece. The products will be manufactured under licence by Greek partner companies.

The government, reports the French daily, “is counting on privatisations to accelerate investment in Greece, the sale of the sports betting business Opap, and the Depa gas company, which have attracted interest from Russian companies.”

However, Le Monde remains cautious about a “timid recovery that is still fragile” —

Within the country, the government is still unable to collect revenue and combat tax evasion. [...] Then there is the external context of uncertainty over Italy, which is threatening to have repercussions on Greece.


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