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Lifting Of Cabotage Discussed Once Again

Cabotage restrictions must be lifted immediately so foreign-flag cruise ships could use Greek harbors as homeports by 2011, President of the Greek Shipowners’ Association for Passenger Ships Markos Foros stressed during a press conference last month.

Mr. Foros underlined that he supports the abolition of cabotage as long as 25 Greek seamen are recruited in nautical positions either on land or at sea.

According to the association, if the Greek government does lift the cabotage law (which would allow the embarkation/disembarkation of passengers on foreign-flag cruise ships in Greek ports), the national economy would gain some 1.1 billion euros per year.

According to the association’s president, the abolition of cabotage would contribute to development without the need for subsidies.

Mr. Foros also underlined that the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation is totally against the lifting of the cabotage law. “We respect the Greek navy, but the sailors must see the overall good and not what only is good for their federation,” he said.

“Cabotage should be lifted immediately so we are in time for the 2011 season… The Ministry agrees and all that is left is for the seafarers unions to agree,” he stressed.

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