The government accelerated the procedure for the liberalization of closed professions, which is one of the main issues on the agenda of the "triple". During a meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday, Transport Minister Dimitris Repas presented the main lines of the three bills for the changes that will occur for owners of trucks, for the possibility that the petrol stations sell gas and for the reforms in the civil aviation services.
The first bill opens the closed profession of truck owners. Permits for the owners were limited by law since 1971 and affect around 30,000 trucks. From now on, companies will be in the form of PLC or LTD, and among the performance criteria are their economic opportunities, professional expertise and reputation in the market. For the old permits there will be an adjustment period of three years or until 2013. This transitional period of three years was agreed last weekend in Brussels, where the Greeks explained their arguments before the representatives of the General Directorate of Transport of the European Commission and the European Central Bank. In the beginning the Europeans insisted the law to be applied immediately and to open the profession however later they listened to the Greeks and agreed to establish by law the transition period with accuracy.
The value of permits for trucks will decrease, due to which the owners of trucks will lose, however on the other hand the law will compensate them by integrating the industry in the law for the development with an opportunity for subsidies to be provided for the establishment of new businesses and the purchase of new trucks.
The old price of permits, which the owners have paid will be entered into the newly registered truck companies as equity capital and thus it will not be lost. It will also deduct from the taxes that the owners of trucks are paying.
The second bill that Dimitris Repas presented gives the petrol stations the opportunity to have access to natural gas so drivers will be able to readjust their cars and if they want to travel with gas. So far, very few petrol stations had permits to fill with gas. In the second bill there is also a decree related to the road safety and one of the points is to start classes in road traffic at school. According to another decree of the law it is provided that a car can not be insured if you do not submit documents that it passed through a technical inspection and vice versa – it can not pass through technical inspection, if it doesn’t have an insurance.
The third law provides for reforms in the civil aviation services, in order to enable it to cope successfully with the major challenges of the integrated European Sky. Through the law is established a new framework for the functioning of the airports in the periphery by allowing to participate private owners. The peripheral airports can act as limited liability companies and enter into contracts with private owners by entrusting them the implementation of infrastructure projects.
Prime Minister George Papandreou congratulated the ministers who have contributed to the creation of the law and announced two more ministerial council meetings - one will be in the next week and the other - in September during the International Exhibition of Thessaloniki.