Athens: Thodoris Dritsas, deputy minister of economy, infrastructure, marine and tourism, has outlined his vision for the Greek shipping industry in a speech delivered today during the discussion of the policy statements of the new government.
Dritsas’ primary policy will be to tackle unemployment among seafarers, he told parliament. His Ministry has called for a robust agreement that will create jobs for Greek seafarers in ocean shipping, cabotage and on tourist boats.
The unpaid employment of seafarers must stop, Dritsas continued, and is “endemic mainly in coastal and even appears even in ships operating with state subsidy?”
The ministry has met with representatives from the Union Ferry, and has received assurance that there will be no unpaid seafarers by Easter at the latest.
Finally, Dritsas said he aims to instate smooth and regular operation of scheduled shipping services.
As part of this, the ministry aims to reinstate discontinued ferry links such as connections between Patras, Ithaca and Cephalonia, Dritsas said.
“In our country, shipping as a whole and in all areas should not only be viewed (rightly of course) as the flagship of the economy, but it should be the productive activity that is utilised to the maximum extent possible and honours the invaluable contribution of workers contributing simultaneously to maximise social benefits,” the minister told parliament.