The sale of a 67% stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) has been a contradictory issue for the new Greek government. Although Greece has committed to continue the privatization policy in letters and lists it is sending to its creditors, it follows a different approach domestically. This contradiction has recently become apparent. During his official visit to China, Greek Deputy Prime Minister Ioannis Dragasakis gave an interview to Xinhua and confirmed the will of the government to finally proceed and sell the 67% stake. COSCO and other bidders ‘can make a very competitive offer’, he said. But Merchant Marine Deputy Minister Theodoros Dritsas does not seem to agree. Immediately after the interview of Dragasakis was published, Dritsas focused on the public character of the port by asserting that the government’s policy on its privatization remains stable.
A government has naturally the right to decide whether it plans to continue with the privatization policy or not. This is fair. But it is not fair to simultaneously make two different voices heard and create confusion. In this way, the public image of the country is further damaged. Additionally, the real motivations of the government remain unclear. It is time to overcome inconsistencies and say the truth in front of both the domestic and the international audience.