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Tourism Professionals Applaud Shipping Ministry’s Revised Omnibus Bill

limani-geniko A revised multi-bill recently released by the Greek Shipping Ministry was applauded by Greek tourism professionals today, Thursday, 24 January, as it contains provisions in favor of the Greek coastal shipping sector and therefore is expected to boost the Greek economy and the country’s tourism.

“The revised version of the multi-bill is an important step in bringing the framework for the operation of passenger ships up to date,” the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said in an announcement.

According to SETE, the revised multi-bill will boost the competitiveness of Greek-flagged passenger ships and  reduce their operating costs.

The association said the proposed measures would benefit Greek ships in the Adriatic Sea, which are currently under strong competition of foreign-flagged ships from neighboring countries. The measures are also said to strengthen the Greek flag on international routes.

The revised multi-bill also recognizes the seasonal nature of coastal shipping and the supporting role high-speed ferry routes play during the summer season.

“The removal of distortions that until now had discouraged many companies to launch their ships will benefit the tourism development of island communities and their development potential,” SETE said.

On his part, the president of the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA), Yiorgos Telonis, said the revised multi-bill contained “necessary and long-awaited” provisions.

The multi-bill includes provisions that allow ferry companies to add more ships to summer routes and adjust certain labor issues that would cut operating costs.

The shipping ministry has submitted the multi-bill to the coalition parties for comments.

Strikes ahead

Meanwhile, the revised multi-bill will also bring significant labor changes and already Greek seamen are protesting it with a 48-hour strike to be launched on 31 January and 1 February.

According to reports, the seamen are protesting the new multi-bill as it indirectly foresees, among other things, that they can easily lose their jobs.

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