The Greek government has agreed with its creditors to proceed with the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority. By the end of October shortlisted companies – COSCO, APM Terminals and International Container Terminal Services – have to submit their final offers. Although this has been already decided, Greek Alternate Minister for Maritime Affairs Thodoris Dritsas continues to oppose the process of privatization. As he said: ‘The privatization of the port is a wrong choice’. Obviously, Mr Dritsas can express his opinion in a democratic country like Greece. However, three questions are raised:
- Why does Mr Dritsas keep his position from the moment he does not agree with the Euro Summit Agreement of 12 July and the forthcoming privatizations?
- Why did Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras did not appoint another politician in the position of Mr Dritsas during the recent reshuffle of the government?
- How can a government proceed when contradicting voices on so important issues dominate?
It comes as no surprise that the international image of Greece is further damaged. The perception that a state should control public enterprises might be sucessfull in cases where specific business proposals and cost-benefit analysis reports exist. The priviledges of trade unions cannot shape government decisions any longer.