ECONOMY

Zenith opts to skip Piraeus port due to PNO strike

The Zenith cruise ship will sail to Malta rather than the port of Piraeus on Monday. The owners of the cruise ship made the decision in order to save their passengers from problems pertaining to the strike the Hellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) has called in protest at the lifting of cabotage rules. Talk that the port pilot service, which helps bring in ships for docking, will call a snap strike on Tuesday and Wednesday also played a role in the decision. According to sources, tour operators had been informed as of Wednesday of the serious possibility that the cruise ship will not sail to Piraeus. The company said that «like all companies in this situation, we are trying to find a port that serves the needs of a cruise ship without a pilot service.» The company made its final decision to opt for Malta early yesterday. Sources also said the owners of the company are very concerned about whether they will be able to include Piraeus on their schedule every Monday. The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) sent a letter to the Citizen’s Protection Ministry in order for it to help avoid any outbreaks of violence on Monday due to the PNO strike. From Monday through Wednesday, some 13 cruise ships, transporting 18,800 passengers, were scheduled to dock at Piraeus, including the Zenith vessel. In reaction to the news that it has decided to sidestep Piraeus, business groups including the Athens Traders Association have canceled their planned gathering at the port which had been intended to welcome the cruise ship’s passengers.