Greece is reportedly calling off the privatisation of the port of Alexandroupolis due to geopolitical concerns and will instead remain state-owned.
On Monday Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his government has decided not to privatise the northern port of Alexandroupolis, an asset too precious to relinquish.
During an interview with ANT1 tv, the Greek Prime Minister confirmed a Reuters report earlier that “geopolitical developments” prompted a re-think of the deal to sell a majority stake in the facility to private investors.
Situated in northern Greece near the borders with Bulgaria and Turkey, Alexandroupolis has the potential of becoming an energy hub for central Europe.
“The government has decided that under present circumstances Alexandroupolis has such a large strategic, geopolitical and energy importance to our country that it should remain under the jurisdiction of the Greek public,” Mitsotakis said.
Greece in September received two binding bids for a 67% stake in the port. Four investors had been shortlisted last year for the sale. According to media reports,two of them were proxies for Russia.
The bidders were Quintana Infrastructure and Development through Liberty Port Holdings Single Member, and International Port Investments Alexandroupolis, a joint venture of Black Summit Financial Group, Euroports, EFA Group and GEK Terna.
A source at the country’s privatisation agency, HRADF, told Reuters earlier Monday that the tender process was likely to be cancelled because of the port’s elevated role after its “upgraded role, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
Since then, the port of Alexandroupolis has also been used as an alternative route for the shipment of NATO military equipment to its eastern flank via Romania and Bulgaria.