Shipping Minister Panayiotis Kouroublis on Tuesday said that ongoing strike action by ferry workers “does not make any sense” and called on their union, PNO, to return to the table for talks.
After discussion with the minister reached a deadlock on Monday, PNO announced a fresh 48-strike that will result in Greece’s islands being cut off from the mainland for a full week on Thursday.
Ferry workers are protesting government plans to raise their income tax they pay to the same level as other workers and have rejected assurances by Kouroublis that their concerns will be addressed.
“This strike does not make any sense,” Kouroublis told Skai TV on Tuesday. “I am seeking dialogue with PNO over the strike. We are fighting so that nothing changes in the tax regime.”
In a related development, Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis on Tuesday approved a plan to charter private flights to transport some 2,500 students from Athens on a trip to Crete who were unable to return to the capital because of the ferry strike.