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50 million euro daily loss for the exporters from the transportation strike

02 October 2010 / 11:10:20  GRReporter
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Victotria Mindova


The state loses about 50 million euros a day from the blocking of the transport of goods and products in the country, and over 200 export companies have closed down their activities due to the termination of contractual relations with customers abroad. Bitter facts were presented by the President of the Hellenic Association of Exporters Christina Sakelaridis who brought journalists together at a press conference related to the effects of the strikes in the country in the last year. She said that the consequences of constant protests and blockades inevitably remain at the expense of the exporters in the country and will to a great extent hurt the image of Greece and its products abroad. "We know that the protesters want to defend their position, but in this way they are holding hostage the most productive part of the Greek economy," said Christina Sakelaridis. She pointed out that carriers are collaborators rather than enemies of the manufacturers and exporters in the country, and called for a dialogue and understanding.

"We are all jacks in the same chain," explained the President of the Union of Exporters of the island of Crete Alekiviadis Kalabokis, who also participated in the discussion at the invitation of Christina Sakelaridis. He pointed out that the more difficult it is for a good to find a permanent presence on the counters in the super-markets in Europe, the easier it is to lose this place. "If tomorrow the Greek olive oil is not on the shelves of the German super-market, it will be replaced by a Spanish, Italian and even Turkish," explained Kalabokis, and pointed out that this is a luxury that today in a period of crisis Greece can not afford. The businessman connected in his presentation the tourism, manufacturing and exports, and explained that the Greek product symbolizes for the foreigners also the romance of the Mediterranean, known to us from the summer holidays over the years. It is demanded not only because of its high quality but also because of its reputation that was built over the years. This name is already losing its positions because Greek companies can not (due to strikes, protests and blockades) deliver the given orders on time, says the Crete exporter.

In this line of thoughts the President of the Association of Exporters of Northern Greece Dimitris Lakasas said it is unrealistic for the Prime Minister George Papandreou to speak about fast track (quick and easy procedure) for export when free track is not provided (free time) for transport of Greek goods. He said that for the first seven months of 2010 Greece had registered only 3% growth in exports compared to the same period last year and the average level of this indicator for the countries in the eurozone is 11%. Dimitris Lakanas assessed for GRReporter exclusive the ambitions of the Minister of Economy and Finance Michalis Chrysohoidis for doubling of the exports in relation to the GDP by 2014 as positive. To the question of how experts see the implementation of this plan, Lakanas responded that a special program for action between government and the business in the country has been coordinated, which should begin to apply from 2011. The president of the Cretan Union of Exporters Alekiviadis Kalabokis added that there are many good examples of diversification in the production and export in the regions, which is successful in Italy and Spain, and can be applied with the same success in Greece.

Hours before the meeting it became clear that after long negotiations schism has occurred in the ranks of the striking drivers and the blockades have been lifted. Over 600 thousand containers are waiting to be shipped from the port of Piraeus, to reach end users, and according to an assessment of the commercial organizations in the country more than a month will be necessary before the market situation calms down. Among the drivers of trucks and tanks for public use there are still supporters of the idea for the strike to continue, but the majority of the chairmen of the municipal unions of the carriers retreated after the meeting with the Minister of Economy and Finance Michalis Chrysohoidis. The Minister has committed to the promise that drivers affected by the liberalization of the transport market will be included in the new investment law, eligible for funding from the National Framework Agreement for stability and development.


Tags: Economy Markets News
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