The Mayor of Tilos, Tassos Aliferis, in his effort to implement policies for the development of the country’s island regions, regions whose development depends exclusively or mostly on tourism, was the driving force behind the “Transport Equivalent”
Putting forward for the first time that:
WHAT APPLIES TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO APPLY TO THESE PLACES
In other words, residents or visitors of island regions must be in a position to communicate with the rest of the world at least once a day, paying the same price per kilometre as residents or visitors of mainland regions.
Landmarks towards implementing the Transport Equivalent
1. The final stage of this effort began in December 2006, with the “Mayor’s Letter to the President of the Hellenic Republic, the Prime Minister and political party leaders”, which resulted in the effort to implement the Transport Equivalent being placed under the auspices of Karolos Papoulias.
2. There followed a series of meetings initiated by Tassos Aliferis in Brussels, in his capacity as President of the Council Of Island Municipalities & Communities of Greece, where he discovered that the cause he had been supporting for years has already been implemented in Corsica, France (Opinion of the French Chamber of Commerce, European Commission Decision 2001).
3. July 2008
Mr. Aliferis met with the Commissioner for EU Regional Policy, Mr. Hahn, and presented him with a letter containing the two basic questions, the answers to which are expected to open up the road towards implementing the Transport Equivalent.
4. September 2008
The 8th Convention of the European Small Islands Federation took place in Finland, during which the Mayor of Tilos, Tassos Aliferis, put forward a proposition regarding the establishment of the Transport Equivalent and asked for the federation’s help. The convention adopted Mr. Aliferis’ proposition unanimously, made a commitment to support the cause, and elected Mr. Aliferis as a member of the Board of the European Small Islands Federation.
Α) The President of the Council for Island Municipalities and Communities, Tassos Aliferis, came into contact with all parties and organisations, securing their support for the proposal to implement the Transport Equivalent.
B) The proposal was put forward and adopted by all Local Government councils.
C) Contacts were made and meetings were held with shipping companies regarding the Transport Equivalent.
European Transport Commissioner Mr. Tajani provided the first response from the European Commission.
Commissioner Danuta Hubner’s response followed.
Mr. Aliferis, addressing the Production and Trade Committee in Parliament, in the presence of MPs from all political parties, presented the steps taken in his effort to implement the Transport Equivalent, and submitted a proposal for amending the law.
8. There followed meetings at the Ministry of Shipping, during which the Minister, Mr. Papaligouras, and the Undersecretary, Mr. Kammenos, expressed their agreement with the principle of Transport Equivalent, as opposed to their counterparties at the Ministry of Finance.
New government mission statements, speech by the Prime Minister, George Papandreou
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