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Greece Ponders Allowing Privately-run Waterways at Resorts, Marinas


The Greek government is considering allowing private entities to set up waterways at areas of “integrated tourism development”, with a relevant bill to be tabled in parliament next month, local media report.

In addition to ports and lakes, the Greek shipping ministry may soon allow private entities to establish waterways at destinations where there are tourist complexes and resorts in operation as well as at marinas and boat shelters.

The 29-article draft bill covering the “Establishment, Operation and Utilization of Waterways”, which was leaked by local press this week, also foresees a 5 percent surcharge on the net fare per passenger which will be collected by the transport ministry.

A draft of the regulation is currently being examined by the shipping, defence, citizens protection, environment, interior and development ministries.

The legislation also foresees the simplification of the licensing procedure which has delayed dozens of waterway projects across Greece for almost a decade.

Additionally, according to the document, waterways and hydroplanes will be able to operate domestic and international flights, including direct flights to and from Schengen Zone countries.

It should be noted that a license to establish a waterway venture additionally requires an operation permit. Waterway projects can be covered under both the strategic investment and public-private partnerships frameworks.

The transport ministry is also planning to set up an Electronic Waterway Permit Monitoring System (IASYY) aimed at ensuring the application and  licensing processes move ahead swiftly and transparently.

There are currently three licensed waterway projects in Greece, those of PatraCorfu and Paxi, with a number of similar projects under examination.

The two companies seeking to get the waterway networks up and running are investors Hellenic Seaplanes and Water Airports SA.

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