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Mediterranean Transport; Intermodalism and Gioia Tauro. Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by archibald van willigenburg, Netherlands Feb 9, 2004
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions


Tirrenia di Navigazione

Italian administrations have done much to improve the countries image in the eyes of the foreign investors through pushing functional integration. The General Transport plan and the Blue Plan gave financial support to harbours from the seventies onwards. Though modernisation went on after WO ll, through lack of investment the Italian harbours soon went into decline. These plans pushed back traditional individualism striving for rationalisation and benefits of scale. This could be achieved by integrating the Italian harbour systems. With the privatisation of the mid-nineties the naval market opened up to European investment. Leading up to waves of participations and joint-ventures. As from 2008 onwards the new state-owned "Tirrenia di Navigazione", a boot-rail combination existing out of the Venetian Adriatica di Navigazione and some regional train companies, will be operational with 87 ships. The company will be organized in three divisions, medium and long range, regional services and freight logistics. The last division will cooperate with the private sector. This “Ferry Merger Plan” however opposes free competition forcing private shipping companies to attract money from the capital market. Finally the Italian flag register led to cooperation between the Italian and foreign shipping companies and tax reduction.

European transport policy

Next to increased foreign investment, supranational interests can't be overlooked. According to the EU maritime transport over long distance seemed a good alternative to road transport. Though possible cost advantages and lessened burden on the environment seemed hard to ignore, not all the initiatives made the day. The “Via Mare” between Sicily and Voltri was cut short as a result of political opposition.

Through implementation of the so-called Transeuropean transport networks, European transport policy aims amongst others for the development of harbours and new technologies. Mediterranean harbours should position themselves as transition points in central-European trade. It is a good argument for intermodalism, since most of that trade doesn't go through these harbours either.

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