A protest by migrants on Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is putting railway operator Trainose at risk of losing major international clients.
Migrants have over the last few days been protesting FYROM’s decision not to let them cross from Greece. Many migrants have camped on the railway lines connecting the two countries, which means that no trains have come in or out of Greece for the last week.
This means that the freight Trainose is responsible for carrying has not been able to reach its destinations. The railway company serves major international clients such as Hewlett Packard and Sony. There is concern that if the protest does not end soon, these companies will be forced to transport their goods by road.
“The issue is not paying compensation to the companies, which we can pay even if the situation is not our fault,” said Trainose CEO Thanasis Ziliaskopoulos. “What is more important is that the country’s credibility is at stake.”
Trainose’s contract with Chinese giant Cosco to transport goods that arrive at Piraeus port is seen as a key part of the goal to make Greece a logistics hub in Southeastern Europe.
The holdup on the border with FYROM is also hampering Greek exporters, who wrote on Thursday to ministers to ask for the government to take action to end the protest.
“Companies which are unable to deliver their products to Central Europe on time have no choice but to reroute them through Bulgaria, an option that is at least 20 percent more costly but which also leads to delays in delivery times,” said the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece (SEVE) in its letter.