OPINION

Trouble at sea

Costas Karamanlis is perhaps the only prime minister in recent years to have promoted issues linked to coastal shipping and is well aware that the sector faces major structural and financial problems. Before his New Democracy party came to power, its merchant marine committee drafted studies for the sector, about which Karamanlis had been well briefed. So, evidently, the problem had been acknowledged and the premier’s intervention anticipated. The question is what will happen from now on. In view of Karamanlis’s penchant for practical solutions, we can expect that coastal shipping will feature high on the government’s agenda this winter. The Merchant Marine Ministry has many loose ends to tie up, and not only coastal shipping matters. Coastal shipping is an issue that seems to take on urgency every Easter and August bank holiday. But ferries sail all year round, and in fact they generally have more problems in winter than summer. Unfortunately, the media are not very interested in whether residents of Anafi, Amorgos or Leipsoi have ferry services in December or March. However, they will rush to film the «hassled» tourist… The state has spent billions of euros on developing our national road network. It should start paying the same attention to our neglected sea routes…