Greek Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis tabled a comprehensive draft bill in parliament this week covering shipping, ports, marine tourism, island policy and safety at sea.
Top priority revisions focus on modernizing and clarifying existing coastal shipping legislation as well as setting the rules for the operation of the Coastal Shipping Transport Council; and on moving ahead with the implementation of the port of Piraeus upgrade works, which will in turn bring in much-needed investments and establish the port as an international hub of activity.
The bill also has provisions for other key areas, including increasing the Port Authority’s work force by 1,500 positions so that it can respond to all of its operations; tapping into Greece’s options in marine tourism, the possibility of a sectoral program that will act as a single funding tool to support island actions and needs; improving safety on beaches (setting the working period of lifeguards); as well as simplifying concession procedures for port activities.
In relevant news, local media are reporting that the long-anticipated privatization of 10 regional ports will begin with tenders for the ports of Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, and Igoumenitsa.
“Substantial and urgently needed interventions are being made… [the bill] has clear objectives that will effectively contribute to developing entrepreneurship, ensuring social cohesion, and improving the framework for the provision of high quality safety and environmental protection services,” said Plakiotakis.