OPINION

Who controls the ports?

Talk about privatizing the port of Piraeus is pointless. It’s pointless because no one is really pressing for its privatization. Serious problems continue to dog container loading but these can be overcome by assigning the task to companies that have the necessary know-how. Also, any talk lacks meaning because container loading is already in private hands. Some 350 port entrepreneurs, who pass for port workers, currently control the country’s biggest port. These workers object to any change that might reduce their incomes and other privileges. Notwithstanding the reactions, the government has taken a sound decision and must stand by it. Ports’ control must return to the people of Greece, while the management of ports must be to the maximum benefit of taxpayers. In order to optimize gains, the government must look at the price but also the credibility of those who will undertake the venture. The government must be extremely cautious as the decision on the Piraeus port will determine the future of other privatization programs.