By Chryssa Liaggou
The idea of a single entity for building and repairing ships in Greece has made a comeback as a solution to the deadlock at Skaramangas Shipyards. A decision in this direction is expected on Tuesday, during a meeting between the government’s three coalition partners, which will also be attended by the head of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), Yiannis Panagopoulos.
The fact that the government is leaning toward this solution confirms the complete failure of the choice made two years ago for the transfer of Skaramangas Shipyards to Abu Dhabi Mar. It also illustrates the government’s intention to clash with the new shareholders of the company, as the creation of a new, single entity presumes the termination of the contract consolidated by a law passed in 2010.
The competent ministries are said to have already examined all legal options for terminating the contract with the Arab company for the transfer of the shipyards. This can reportedly be based on the absence of a provision for the delivery of various Hellenic Navy orders.
The plan for a single ship-building and repair entity that will also include the shipyards of Neorio on Syros and of Elefsina, western Attica, controlled by the Tavoularis group, is believed to be able to secure the viability of the three units under one management and with a distribution of works: The Elefsina and Neorio shipyards would undertake commercial shipbuilding, while Skaramangas would execute part of the FREMM frigate project and the completion of the submarine project it is already implementing.
The creation of a single entity is also the demand of the Triaena union of employees at Skaramangas, expressed by its head, Vassilis Karakitsos, as well as GSEE’s Panagopoulos at a meeting held on Friday in the presence of the ministers of finance, national defense, development, labor and merchant marine. Workers are on strike as they have not been paid for four months.