OPINION

Port reforms near implementation

Greece’s ports are the main engine of its economy. The problem is that in recent years the engine has been malfunctioning. A powerful interest group is putting the brakes on efforts to upgrade the country’s harbors. This is undermining their competitiveness and depriving state coffers of millions of euros. At the same time, the surcharge imposed by large transport companies – because they don’t know if their freight will be unloaded or not – is passed on to the price of goods, increasing inflationary pressures. The government delayed implementing the policies for which it was voted into power, but it now seems to be entering the final stretch. The forthcoming government bill cedes certain activities to private firms while at the same time safeguarding all workers’ rights. We cannot afford any further delay. Greece’s comparative edge in the port industry must not be lost. And the country’s economic life cannot remain hostage to the whims of a handful of unionists.