Ferry fares to become cheaper

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs is promising cheaper ferry tickets this summer after abolishing certain levies that burden fares for passengers and vehicles by 30 and 37 percent respectively.

Following his meeting with representatives of the two associations of coastal shipping companies on Tuesday, Minister Yiannis Diamantidis stated that an agreement had been reached on reducing costs for travelers.

?Tickets will be cheaper by the amount of the reduction of third-party levies that exist in coastal shipping tickets,? said Diamantidis. ?With the public interest in mind, the government will immediately go ahead with abolishing all those taxes that date from the past, while the companies have promised not to increase their profit margins from this reduction,? he added.

Coastal shippers were positive about the foreseen end to third-party levies, as it had long been one of their main demands from the state, but stress that any reduction in fares should take into account the current price of fuel.

Among all European Union countries, Greece has the most numerous and highest (as a portion of the fare) third-party levies in passenger tickets, amounting to 30 percent, compared to 8 percent in Spain, 5.5 percent in France and 10 percent in Italy.