On Friday, Greece completed the sale of the majority package of shares (67 percent) of the Igoumenitsa Port Organization to a joint venture led by the Italian Grimaldi group.
The eighty-four million euro deal was hailed by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis as an “investment that will act as a driving force of progress for more jobs, for a better life throughout Western Greece.”
The Greek government has sought to attract private investments in Igoumenitsa and other regional ports as part of a wider privatization plan in order to turn Greece into a key logistics hub for goods from Asia to Europe and therefore boost economic growth.
Recently it emerged that Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis is set to buy Volos Port Authority through his Thessaloniki Port Authority company. His company has been chosen as the favored investor for sixty-seven percent of the Volos Port Authority shares.
Port of Igoumenitsa closest port of Greece to Italy
The port of Igoumenitsa is in a strategic location, as it is geographically the closest port of Greece to Italy and the Balkan countries, thus acting as a major connection for passengers and goods traffic to and from Western Europe.
“Igoumenitsa is the third largest port of the country, [and] it is a critical gateway of the country, a vital link for the supply chain and the markets in what is essentially the western gateway of the country to Europe,” Mitsotakis said.
He added that in combination with other projects that will be carried out in Igoumenitsa, Sivota, Plataria, and Sagiada, the prefecture of Thesprotia will emerge as a tourist destination, as a stopping point for cruises and a yachting destination.
The Epirus Riviera in the northwestern corner of Greece just opposite Corfu is a magnificent place, with amazing beaches, crystal clear waters, and secret coves.
Washed by the blue-green waters of the Ionian archipelago, the captivating Parga and exotic Syvota make for an irresistible pair of holiday destinations, each with refreshing breezes and cosmopolitan auras. They are natural gems that enchant visitors at first sight.
Mitsotakis revealed that the Grimaldi Group is also interested in the port of Heraklion, Crete, and the relevant sales contract will be signed soon.
Annually, two and a half million passengers and about two hundred and fifty thousand trucks move through the port of Igoumenitsa. The main Western ports connected directly are the Italian ports of Bari, Brindisi, Ancona, Venice, Trieste, and Ravenna, as well as that of Corfu in Greece.
The construction project of the New Port officially began being constructed in the beginning of 2012, and it was completed by 2016. With the completion of the New Port, Igoumenitsa has become a large, modern port in the Mediterranean Sea, able to serve passenger, commercial, and tourist traffic.