Adjudication of a legal hurdle faced by the winner bidder for the insolvent Hellenic Shipyards, the biggest in Greece and of the largest in the east Mediterranean, has been bumped to March 11, after Hellenic Public Properties Company (HPPC) S.A. requested that a motion filed against the sale by a local municipality be heard by the Council of State’s plenum.

A portion of CoS justices were scheduled to review the motion on Tuesday, Jan. 18, before the state-run real estate holding company requested a full hearing by Greece’s highest administrative court.

The motion in itself demonstrates the legal nuisances that major privatizations and strategic investments often face in hyper-litigious Greece. In this case, a municipality that borders with the decades-old shipyard, which is located on the coast of Greece’s pre-eminent industrial zone, has demanded access to one of the concrete piers for “public use”.

The municipality of Haidari, in the greater Athens area’s southwest, claims that Pier IV of Skaramangas is illegal, and is in fact a coastal zone and part of the seaside, and as such, free and unhindered access for the public should be guaranteed.

A company controlled by Greek shipowner George Prokopiou last July was the declared the winner of an international tender for the shipyard.

A bid by Milina Enterprises Co Ltd exceeded 37 million euros. The winning bid was some seven million euros higher than a set starting price of 30.7 million euros.

In a previous statement to, Prokopiou said he expects a solution to the legal obstacle that is “consistent with a logical sequence”, given that a shipyard was built at the spot in 1953 and has operated there since.

A final transfer contract between the state and the winning bidder cannot be signed until the case is adjudicated in favor of the state against the municipality.

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