Daily Video

August 13, 2010

China’s Growing Influence on Greek Economy

The the Mediterranean country of Greece is placing a serious emphasis on foreign investors–especially from China. In this video, NewHour economics correspondent, Paul Solman, reports on the intricate details of the economic bond that the two countries have forged.

For years, China’s main influence on the Greek economy has been in restaurants and small businesses. Now, in an effort to boost its slumping economy, Greece is enticing Chinese investors to take stock in its train lines and ports. And the Asian country is listening.

Two months ago, the massive Chinese shipping company, COSCO, took control of a lease for a major container dock at the Port of Pireaus. Greece has several major ports that line the Mediterranean Sea.

“The Port of Piraeus, which is a traditional port in the Mediterranean, but it was a declining one, now will become the basic hub for all Chinese produce to come to the European Union,” said Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

However, everyone in Greece is not convinced that Chinese investment is the best option for the Greek economy. Some, such as journalist Leonidas Vatikiotis, point out that by bringing in companies like COSCO, employment numbers in Greece will not improve and the chances for black market trading will only increase. Nonetheless, it appears China will be a mainstay in the Greek economy for years to come.

Quotes

“We need foreign investment, and especially we need the Chinese.” Nicos Vernicos, president of the Greek International Chamber of Commerce

“We are worried about the employment. The problem is that the employment will not be increased, and very little employment will be made.” Leonidas Vatikiotis, journalist

“The practice of the Chinese is absolutely correct, in regards to the way they pay the people working for them, and also they have a good labor relations. So I think they want to have a good presence here (in Greece).” Theodoros Pangalos, deputy prime minister of Greece

Warm Up Questions

1. Where is Greece?

2. What is a port?

3. Name a few products that arrive at ports all around the world.

Discussion Questions

1. According to the video, why is Greece pursuing investments from China?

2. Name two arguments from the video that are against a Chinese company running the Greek Port of Pireaus?

3. What are a few major port cities in the United States? What do all of them have in common?

Additional Resources

Read video transcript

Olives and Omens: Did Greek Cuisine Portend Economic Problems?

Paul Solman: In Greece, Underground Economy Fuels Financial Crisis

Will Greek Austerity Plans Buckle Under Pressure?

Download this Video

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