Minister of Maritime and Insular Policy, Giannis Plakiotakis paid a visit to Igoumenitsa on Saturday 15/2, as part of his planned visits to the Port Organizations and Port Authorities of the country, accompanied by the Secretary General of Ports, Port Policy and Maritime Investments, Mr. Evangelos Kyriazopoulos.
Mr. Plakiotakis met at the seat of Igoumenitsa Regional Unit with the Vice-Mayor of Thesprotia Regional Unit Mr. Thomas Pitoulis, where they also discussed issues related to the port of the region.
The Minister of Maritime and Insular Policy then met with the Mayor of the city, Mr. John Lolos, where they discussed extensively the exploitation of the port, unfolding the details of the plan after the completion of the relevant study by the HRADF.
"We are taking advantage of the country's 10 largest regional ports. In the year 2020 we are running tendering procedures. Among the first ports to be exploited is the port of Igoumenitsa for which, as with the other regional ports, there is great investment interest. I want to make it clear that we are talking about harnessing the capabilities of each port separately and not for sale. This means concession, therefore rent for a specific period of time, against specific investments, specific revenue and specific jobs for the region", said mr. Plakiotakis shortly after the meeting with Mr Lolos and added:
"The port of Igoumenitsa is the Western gateway to our homeland in a key geopolitical and geostrategic position, in the middle of a large maritime corridor with enormous potential for growth in freight, cruise, maritime tourism. We want to take advantage of these opportunities".
Asked about the terrestrial zone, the Minister of Maritime and Insular Policy emphasized that "one of the first decisions I signed was the concession for a three-year, northern coastal lane for the use of a bicycle lane. An indirect concession, namely the land-based zone. For the land area all procedures are completed. The matter is managed by the General Secretariat of Public Property, the process will be speeded up and the Ministry will assign the land area to the relevant body and in this case to the Municipality."
Visit to the Central Port Authority
Mr. Plakiotakis visited the premises of the Central Port Authority of Igoumenitsa and spoke with the officers of the Hellenic Coast Guard where he referred to the provisions of the Ministry of Shipping and Insular Policy's bill which is in the process of public consultation with the main purpose of increasing the body's organic strength 1,500 executives, for the first time in many years.
Meeting with Igoumenitsa Organization Port Administration
The Minister of Maritime and Insular Policy visited the premises of the Igoumenitsa Port Organization, discussed the prospects with the President and CEO of the Organization and had an interesting conversation with the employee's representative.
Mr. Plakiotakis said that from the presentation of the activities of the present administration, but also from their future planning, he finds that there is a vision and plan in Igoumenitsa, and he added:
"The port of Igoumenitsa has the potential and prospects for growth and improvement to become a locomotive of growth for the local community by creating new jobs and putting Igoumenitsa on the map of Europe's largest ports."