Maritime, ports, tourism, island policy and safety the priorities for the Ministry of Maritime Affairs

Maritime, ports, tourism, island policy and safety the priorities for the Ministry of Maritime Affairs

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis chaired a meeting at the Ministry of Marine and Island Policy with the participation of Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis, Secretary-General of Maritime and Port Infrastructure, Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, Secretary-General of the Island Policy, Christiana Kalogirou, as well as with the participation of the Secretary-General of Financial Coordination and Developmental Policies, Vicky Loizou.

In his statements at the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister referred to the one month that has been completed since July 7, the day the Greek people trusted New Democracy with the country’s governance. “I believe that, already, we have proven in practice that we do not let one day go astray in our efforts to lead Greece towards the bright future it deserves”, Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted.

The Greek Prime Minister then called attention to the Maritime Ministry’s policy priorities for the coming years, highlighting five key points.

Firstly, seagoing shipping, where the Government faces the challenge of making the Greek flag appear as more attractive to Greek ship-owners, as well as of rationalizing the maritime education framework, so that more young children can be brought to sea and so that Greece will be able to provide them with quality education, in order for them to build a career in a field where Greece has significant comparative advantages.

The Government’s second pillar of its policy are ports, with Piraeus coming first. During the meeting, there were discussions around ways to quickly launch a partnership with private equity investors, in order for Piraeus to be upgraded to a globally competitive port. The rationalization of port policy, to secure its effective and safe operation, was also discussed.

The third pillar consisted of the enormous opportunities that are open to maritime tourism. The Ministry of Maritime and Island Policy’s collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism will highlight Greece as a pioneer in maritime tourism, and will allow full use of the very significant revenues that are provided by maritime tourism, according to the Prime Minister.

The fourth pillar is island policy. As 15% of the Greek population resides on islands, it was decided in collaboration with the Ministry’s leadership to explore the possibilities for a specific sectoral program for island policy under the new NSRF 2021-2027. The goal is for a single financial instrument to support the islands’ activities, especially the small ones’, which need a specific framework of state care and support.

Finally, the fifth pillar discussed was the issue of maritime safety. In collaboration with civil society, and with extremely interesting actions developed by non-governmental organizations, the technological prospects on the issue will be fully exploited, so that the Ministry, the Coast Guard and the private sector –with their cooperation- can ensure that citizens will be able to swim in the seas as safely as possible.

Finally, in his remarks, the Greek Prime Minister mentioned the Coast Guard’s staff, thanking them for the work they are doing, while noting that the Coast Guard would be operationally strengthened, in order to upgrade the country’s ability to effectively guard its maritime borders in cooperation with Europe, which has highlighted the issue of protecting European borders as a top priority for the next programming period.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also visited the Unified Coordination Center for Search and Rescue, and was briefed on its operation./ibna