BUSINESS

Market jitters from slashing of customs work hours

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Economy

Entrepreneurs and transport companies describe Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos’s sudden decision to reduce the operation of customs offices in Greece by up to four hours per day as the straw that will break the camel’s back.

After the problems of the last three months with the blockade on the country’s rail link with Europe by refugees and migrants at Idomeni, exports from the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki are now also facing extra obstacles. While these offices have closed for the night at 9 p.m. to date, allowing ships to load their cargos during the daytime, they will now have to close at 5 p.m.

Although the reasoning behind this decision remains unknown, many observers speak of a “suspicious development,” which means exporters will in effect be forced to lose a day as the goods coming from the countryside to Piraeus usually get customs clearance in the evening.

Online