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Tour boat operators seek answer to problems

With the summer season under way, Greek tour boat operators have called on Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis to promptly find solutions to the problems facing…

With the summer season under way, Greek tour boat operators have called on Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis to promptly find solutions to the problems facing the sector.

The Greek tour boat operators association (EPEST<.>) outlined in a letter to the minister that the main difficulties involve technical equipment, bureaucratic hurdles, the fare agreement, Alimos marina and the marine employees fund.

According to a 1998 ministerial decision, all N. 2743-type recreational vessels which sail 10 nautical miles or more from shore must be installed with technical equipment valued at 600,000 drachmas. Those which go beyond Greek waters must have equipment on-board worth seven million drachmas.

Under EU law, N. 2743-type vessels do not need to meet these requirements unless they transport 12 or more passengers for commercial purposes.

Additionally, those operators whose operations are not considered financially viable need not install such equipment. EPEST says that this EU law is not adhered to in Greece.

As for the bureaucracy issue, EPEST is seeking for all registration procedures and taxation to be simplified while it says that the powers of port authorities be clarified.

An appeal has been lodged with the Council of State regarding Alimos marina. EPEST reports that robberies occur on a daily basis at the facility.

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