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GreekReporter.comGreecePremier Wen States China Will Support Greece

Premier Wen States China Will Support Greece

China assured Greece it will buy Greek government bonds when the debt-laden country returns to markets, a senior Greek governemnt official told Reuters during a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Athens on Saturday.
“In due time, when Greece returns to markets, the Chinese have given us assurances there will be support,” the official told Reuters. Asked if this meant that China would buy bonds the official said: “Yes.”
 11 private business deals and two state cooperation agreements for trade and cultural affairs were signed.
“When Greece is in trouble, China will help – that’s when real friendship matters,” Wen said after meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou.
He said China planned to double its annual trade volume with Greece to $8 billion (euro5.83 billion) by 2015.
He said China also planned to provide a $5 billion credit line to Greek shipowners to help boost the purchase of Chinese built vessels.
“I thank China for its vote of confidence in Greece,” Papandreou said. “These agreements will have a significant effect.”
Greece, which is funded by a 110-billion euro EU/IMFbailout, has said it wants to return to markets sometime next year although the EU/IMF package allows it to wait until 2012
Athens was Wen’s first port of call on a European tour, with the Greek government eager to build on the success of existing Chinese investment in the country where shipping giant Cosco is expanding facilities at the main harbour.
The Chinese Premier arrived in the Greek capital mid afternoon with a delegation of ministers and businessmen that included Cosco head Wei Jiafu and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.
So far the major Chinese investment in Greece has been a 35 year concession Cosco won in 2008 to run the two main container terminals at Piraeus port outside Athens.  The deal was worth 3.4 billion euros that should see it expand to capacity by 250%.
Cosco chairman and CEO Wei Jiaf has said he sees the port as the base to seize other opportunities that arise with Greece’s privatisation drive.
Cosco’s shopping list includes a goods warehouse at Thriassio outside Athens which should be sold off at the end of November by the Greek railway and port installations in Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki.
The Chinese company is also eyeing plans for a new airport at Kastelli in Crete.  China envisages developing a shipping repair yard at the Perama yard outside Piraeus.
After kicking off his October 2nd-9th European tour in Greece with a three day visit, the Chinese Premier is scheduled to head to Belgium for summits with EU leaders before visiting Italy and Turkey.

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