Costly blockades must end

Greece is ideally located and very well equipped to become a major hub for cruise ships touring the eastern Mediterranean. This is something that would bring in much needed revenue, not only in terms of port fees but also from the tourists that disembark from cruise ships for a few hours or even longer. It would do much to further enhance the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination. Yet there is a handful of unionists who believe that they should be the ones to decide if and which Greek workers are hired by the big cruise companies that want to include Greece in their itineraries. Tourism is Greece’s strongest industry; many people rely on it for a living and the state relies on it for public revenue. Neither society nor the state can allow a small group of blackmailers to threaten strikes and, even more damaging, port blockades. These actions cause Greece to lose money and also drag the country’s international reputation through the mud. The state must ensure that passengers on all cruise ships tying up at any Greek port are allowed to disembark without hindrance.