Setting one foot in the German port of Hamburg means putting the other in the Italian port of Trieste
This question has begun to haunt insiders and those involved in national security after rumors about a possible entry into the Tollerort container terminal, one of the four of the port in Northern Germany, by Cosco, the logistics giant owned by the Chinese government which has already got its hands on another Mediterranean port, that of Piraeus. The parties are negotiating the purchase of a stake between 30 and 40 percent and according to reports from the German press, the government of Angela Merkel has not presented any objections.
To turn the Italian spotlight on the German operation is the fact that the logistics company Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), owned by the federal administrative body of the German city of Hamburg, concluded in January an operation started in September for the acquisition of 50.01% of the Trieste-based company Trieste logistics platform.
In a report published in recent weeks by the International Affairs Institute, Francesca Ghiretti highlighted how the thirty-year agreement marks “a turning point of the Port of Trieste towards European partners and the probable end of the Chinese investment project envisaged in the memorandum of understanding with CCCC November 2019 ”signed in Shanghai, in the presence of Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio(Giallorossi government), in the wake of the Italian signing on the Silk Road which took place a few months earlier, in March (yellow-green government). Furthermore, explained the researcher, “the platform in which HHLA invested is the same that attracted the interest of CMG (China Merchants Group, another Chinese state company but based in Hong Kong, ed) in 2018; in the end it received the necessary investments not from China but from Germany ”.
In the same document it emerges that while for the port of Genoa the interest in Chinese investments is (was
) linked to the “construction of a new dam”, for that of Trieste and (was
) connected to rail links. Precisely the reason why HHLA has decided to focus on the Adriatic port.
Following the initial agreement with the German HHLA,Zeno D’Agostino , president of the Trieste Port Authority, spoke of an “excellent solution for not giving up on the Silk Road”. And he added: “I emphasize the Silk Road and not the Belt and Road: the second is a Chinese project, the first is a transport corridor decided by the market and not planned by anyone that proposes a European solution. In this, Hamburg and Trieste are not passive subjects as happens when you enter the Belt and Road, but they are proactive subjects who accept the challenge “. D’Agostino concluded by saying that “the Chinese are not there because perhaps the Germans were better in the negotiations”.
In the light of the negotiations between Cosco and HHLA, those who had breathed a sigh of relief with the German entry into Trieste could find themselves fearing that in the Upper Adriatic China has left the door and returned through the window.
Italian ports, already the subject of Copasir concerns, were the focus of an interview with the Ligurian newspaper Il Secolo XIX by Robert Needham, US consul general in Milan since October. To a question about the ports identified as strategic for the Chinese Silk Road – Genoa but also Trieste – the diplomat replied by underlining how the two ports are “key in economic relations” between the two countries. Then he added: “As NATO allies, with troops present in Italian bases and with shared security and armament systems, we hope that Italy will carefully evaluate the potential risks for the economy and security in the search for partners for development projects. of its ports “.
As we pointed out on Formiche.net, ports and 5G will be among the priorities of the next US ambassador to Rome. In pole position is Jane Dorothy Hartley, 71, former ambassador to France and Monaco during the second Barack Obama administration .
Meanwhile, the Guardia di Finanza has put under her lens the illicit trafficking that starts from China and arrives in Italy. The yellow flames have unearthed eleven deposits of fake Made in Italy, reveals Il Sole 24 Ore. There are three routes: The third “arrives in the ports of Northern Europe, such as Rotterdam and Hamburg, then continues by land to Koper (in Slovenia, ed) and in Italy”, reads the business newspaper.
“The Chinese strategy appears to be based on acquiring control or at least a significant presence in the management of the airports where goods arrive”, explains General Giuseppe Arbore, head of the Operations department of the general command of the Guardia di Finanza, quoted by Il Sole 24 Ore.
Words that seem to find confirmation also in the recent concerns related to the future of the port of Trieste.

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