By V. Vegiri & G. Hatzilidis
Center-right New Democracy (ND) leader on Thursday detailed his poll-leading party's position on the further privatization of several regional ports around the country, citing the continued development of Thessaloniki's already privatized port authority and the concession for the ports of Kavala and Alexandroupolis as top priorities for a future ND government.
Mitsotakis spoke in the northern Greece metropolis at an event organized by the northern Greece exporters' association, on the issue of "Foster Maritime Economy".
Referring to the recently privatized - by the outgoing Tsipras government - Thessaloniki Port Authority, Mitsotakis said his party is "anxiously" awaiting the commencement of infrastructure works stipulated in the concession contract.
Additionally, he said the privatization of the Kavala and Alexandroupolis ports must also be quickly implemented by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), the privatization agency that holds the shares of the still state-run entities.
The ND leader didn't clarify if his party is in favor of a full privatization of the two northern Greece ports, or is falling in line with the policy of the outgoing government, namely, concessions for port services at the specific port authorities rather than a tender for the outright control of the port authorities, as was the case for Piraeus and Thessaloniki.
Finally, the pro-reform and pro-business Mitsotakis said any future ND government will continue to back the Greek registry and support merchant marine education and training.