(9:40 a.m. EDT) -- Greece's largest cruise port, Piraeus, is slated to receive 220 million euros in funding to expand its cruise ship facilities and to provide berths for the larger cruise ships that sail the Mediterranean.
In a statement yesterday, Yiorgos Anomeritis, CEO for the the state-owned Piraeus Port Authority, said that the expansion will allow Piraeus to become a hub in the region. The goal, according to the statement, is to make Piraeus "the largest cruise port in the Mediterranean, bringing traffic and new jobs throughout the year."
Piraeus serving as a hub, Anomeritis said, would benefit all of Greece's cruise ports.
The statement detailed that the Athens port would receive 187 million euros from the European Union's regional development aid program and another 33 million euros in funds from Greece. Construction on the project is expected to begin in early 2013.
An important port since antiquity, Piraeus, situated about seven miles outside Athens, is actually made up of three harbors: Megas Limani, where cruise ships come in; Zea Limani, where most of the ferries and hydrofoils come in from the islands; and Mikrolimano for the yachts.
--Jamey Bergman, U.K. Content Producer