EDIT 24-hour strike to protest against port agreement with China

Athens – 25 November 2008
1. Wide of dockworkers gathering for demonstration
2. Close up of back of vest reading in Greek: (Greece) port workers NOT FOR SALE
3. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Giorgos Loukoutidis, head of Piraeus port workers:
“Chinese products will find an exit from China towards the European Union. There will be processing industries, which will really hold back Greek economy, and simultaneously Greek businessmen.”
4. Wide of gathering for demonstration
5. Wide of exterior of Parliament with Greek and Chinese flags waving in wind
6. Close-up of Chinese flag
7. Set-up of President of Hellenic-Chinese Chamber Constantine N. Yannidis
8. Close-up of Greek and Chinese flags on Yannidis’ desk
9. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Constantine N. Yannidis, president of the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber:
“From an economic point of view, indisputably the imports of Chinese products in Greece and in the European Union generally, are far greater than Greek or European Union exports to China. The efforts are – which is also agreed upon by the Chinese – to narrow the trade deficits which both Greece and the European Union run with China.”
FILE: Piraeus – 18 November 2008
10. Pull out from side of ship reading “COSCO” to show cargo ship with containers labelled “COSCO”
11. Mid of crane detail
12. Mid of hook from cargo ship crane
13. Wide of cargo ship
Athens – 25 November 2008
14. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Constantine N. Yannidis, president of the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber:
“I believe Piraeus, sooner or later, will become the gateway for the Chinese to the Balkans and to Southeastern Europe. In addition, the port of Piraeus will become a modernised port.”
FILE: Piraeus – 15 January 2008
15. Wide of port with cranes
16. Mid of piled up cargo due to dockworkers strike
17. Close up of crane
18. Various of piled up cargo
The Federation of Greek Port Employees organised a 24-hour strike on Tuesday, as well as a protest rally in central Athens, opposing to the port agreement between the Greek government and the Chinese company Cosco Pacific Limited.
The port agreement is being signed just as the shipping industry is being affected by the global financial crisis.
On Monday, China’s President Hu Jintao arrived in Greece for a three-day visit timed to coincide with the signing of the 831.2 million euro (one (b) billion US dollars) port deal.
Chinese port operator Cosco Pacific Limited will receive a 35-year concession to manage two container wharfs at Greece’s main port of Piraeus.
Cosco added that an additional 235.5 million euros (297 million US Dollars) will be spent on pier upgrades.
However, dock workers’ unions oppose the Piraeus privatisation plan.
“The government and the Chinese leadership should realise that we will not allow our ports to become Chinatowns”, a union statement said.
Piraeus, the port of Athens, is among the 10 largest ports in Europe, and the largest in container throughout the eastern Mediterranean.
Greek companies control nearly 20 percent of the world’s merchant fleet.
Greece and China expanded cooperation in the run up to this year’s Beijing Olympics, with Athens having hosted the 2004 Games.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias visited China in June, while Karamanlis travelled to China in 2006.
Last year, the volume of trade between the two countries reached 2.9 (b) billion euros (3.7 billion (b) US Dollars) with Chinese exports making up more than 95 percent of that figure, according to data from the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Hu is in Greece after attending a summit of world leaders in Washington and a visit to Latin America.
He will return to Beijing on Wednesday.

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Post time: Jan-10-2017