By A. Tsimplakis
The new shipping minister this week left open the possibility to alter the model for commercially exploiting 10 regional ports in the privatization agency's (HRADF) portfolio of state assets.
Relevant Minister Yannis Plakiotakis, who spoke after a meeting with HRADF's board of directors, essentially acknowledged that new feasibility studies will be composed for the 10 port authorities: Elefsina, Rafina, Lavrio, Patras, Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Volos, Alexandroupolis, Kavala and Iraklio (Herakleio).
Plakiotakis said new studies are necessary in order to select the best practice for each of the port authorities. In statements to "N", he did not exclude an outright sale of port authorities' shares or a concession for port activities. The latter was the avenue chosen by the previous leftist government, which sold-off controlling shares and the 40-year management of the Piraeus and Thessaloniki port authorities - via international tenders - but precluded the same type of privatization for the lesser ports. Instead, the Tsipras government signalled that it would only offer concessions for certain port activities, i.e. container transport.