Thessaloniki business association: Do something for Eidomeni mr. Spirtzis
A business association in the northern port city of Thessaloniki has estimated losses from the continued closure of Greece’s main rail line, leading north out of the country,
at four million euros. The rail line remains blocked at the Idomeni border post on the frontier with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) by third country nationals – Mideast war refugees, but also third world migrants -- who demand that authorities of the neighboring country allow them to enter and continue their journey for other preferred destinations in western and northern Europe.
A makeshift refugee camp also continues to operate almost exactly on the border between the two countries, with Greek authorities reluctant to forcibly move the foreign nationals into temporary shelters and with the Skopje government adamant that it will not allow the entry into its territory of refugees and migrants transiting through Greece after initially being ferried onto various Greek isles from neighboring Turkey.
The losses are linked to increased transport and storage costs, as cargos are now shipped by rail towards the rest of Europe via the longer and costlier Bulgarian route, by up to 30 percent more. Delays have also increased warehouse costs.
In a letter to relevant transport minister Christos Spirtzis, the Association of Thessaloniki Entrepreneurs cited “huge losses” for exporters and shipping companies. The group also points to penalties being paid for failure to fulfill transport deadlines. On the receiving end, the association said Greek manufacturers are experiencing delays and higher costs in importing raw materials from central Europe.
“The law should be enforced in order to permanently free up the rail network, so that transport can continue unobstructed…” the letter reads.