Fresh calls for shipping ministry

Shipowners are hoping that the leaders of New Democracy and PASOK will fulfill their election promise to restore the Ministry of Merchant Marine and bring the coast guard back under its control so that the sector can regain its edge and solve its problems.

?The experiments the PASOK government indulged in regarding shipping will have to be abandoned and our politicians have to start seeing the sector from a different viewpoint, as it is the country?s most extrovert and makes a substantial contribution toward the economy,? sources from the Association of Greek Shipowners told Kathimerini.

The sector?s woes range from the operation of ferry services to the promotion of the full liberalization of the cruise ship market.

Even the European Commission reported recently on the problems that shipping faces in Greece as a result of the abolition of the Merchant Marine Ministry, stressing that in order for the country to make the most of its maritime potential, it will have to develop the best possible administrative structure in the merchant marine domain.