05 July 2006

The Web
Business Today

Port reform in a serious way

It is no wonder that industry is disappointed with port reform (Business Today 21 June) because a mere five per cent reduction after years of slamming the General Workers’ Union for charging exorbitant fees is nothing to write home about.
This country is heavily burdened with unnecessary costs that stunt economic growth and our ports are just one example. In the past the problem was pinned to the union’s monopoly at the ports. Now that this monopoly has only been changed with another monopoly, one can only hope that the new operators are subject to strict tariff controls by the Malta Maritime Authority.
With government having already given an indication that port reform should bring down costs by 25 per cent, we, the honest tax paying citizens who have had to carry the brunt of increased taxation expect nothing less.
The country has to be given a new lease of life. Old work practices, exorbitant costs and closed shops have to be dismantled if we are to prosper. I only hope government finds the courage and political will to see port reform through in a serious way.

Mario Vassallo

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