NewsLocalLimassol-Piraeus ferry ticket to cost €130 return

Limassol-Piraeus ferry ticket to cost €130 return

A return ticket by ferry from Limassol to Piraeus will cost about €130 per person without a car, deputy shipping minister Natasa Pilides said on Tuesday.

She was briefing the House Transport Committee on efforts to relaunch a ferry link between Cyprus and Greece some 20 years after it was suspended.

The target remains for the service to launch this summer, she added.

The government has already submitted to the European Commission a detailed proposal from Cyprus. A second communication has been held between the two sides to underline that the issue is pressing and a reply is expected soon, she added.

Once Nicosia receives the go-ahead it will  launch tenders so that the service can start in the summer.

Preparatory work has been carried out with the state aid commissioner and the state treasurer as regards the tender terms so that Cyprus is ready to launch bids, Pilides said.

Consultations have also been carried out with the Cyprus Shipping Council and the Union of Shipowners as well as companies from other countries and there is hope that bids will be submitted as there is interest from Cyprus, Greece and other EU countries.

A state grant will be given based on a pre-agreed sum and will be based on the company’s profits.  It is likely to be slightly above €5m.  A meeting will be held with the Transport Minister tomorrow to discuss the issue of cars.

Committee chairman Andreas Kyprianou said that the EU Commission appears to views Cyprus’ request positively.

There have long been calls for the restoration of a ferry link between the two countries that ceased in 2000. Previous efforts have stumbled on the problem of money, with feasibility studies indicating that such a link would not be financially viable.

But the deputy ministry carried out a  new feasibility study with the help of foreign consultants that was completed on August 5 and then submitted a thorough proposal to the European Commission for approval.

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