Greece approves port sale in second-largest city

A 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port has been sold for €232 million. (AP Photo)
Updated 22 February 2018
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Greece approves port sale in second-largest city

ATHENS: Lawmakers have approved the sale of a 67 percent stake of the Thessaloniki Port Authority in Greece’s second largest city, in a deal worth 232 million euros ($285 million).
Parliament ratified the concession agreement through 2051 which was signed in December with the consortium South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki. The consortium is comprised of Germany’s Deutsche Invest Equity Partners GmbH, Greek-Russian Belterra Investments, and France’s Terminal Link SAS.
Thursday’s approval follows the 2016 privatization of Greece’s largest port of Piraeus through the sale of a majority stake to China’s Cosco group.
Greece’s left-wing government says it’s committed to continuing cost-cutting reforms and privatization after the country’s international bailout ends in August. It will present rescue creditors a development plan in April to be used to gauge post-program surveillance and debt relief.


France’s Nicolas Sarkozy loses bid to avoid influence peddling trial

Updated 19 June 2019
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France’s Nicolas Sarkozy loses bid to avoid influence peddling trial

  • Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win promotion
  • Sarkozy’s lawyers have previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers

PARIS: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial for influence peddling after the country's highest court rejected his final bid to have the case thrown out, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win promotion in return for leaked information about a separate inquiry. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s successful campaign for the presidency in 2007.
As they eavesdropped on his calls, the investigators began to suspect the former president had offered the judge promotion in return for information on another investigation involving allegations Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for the same campaign.
Sarkozy’s lawyers have previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a “fishing expedition” by tapping his conversations between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.
He was cleared over the Bettencourt allegations.
On Wednesday, his defence team said the use in this case of wiretapped remarks gleaned in relation to a different investigation contravened a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
"These legal issues are still relevant," Sarkozy lawyer Jacqueline Laffont said. "It will be for the court to decide whether a French court can override a decision of the European Court of Human Rights."
Wednesday's ruling that the trial proceed came from the 'Cour de Cassation', which decides whether an earlier decision by an appeals court conforms with French law.