The uncertainty is over for the moment. Once the danger of a possible stop has been averted, maritime connections under “territorial continuity” for Sardinia, Sicily and the Tremiti islands and managed by Tirrenia Cin, will be guaranteed until 31 May. The decree of the Council of Ministers, to “guarantee the right to the mobility of people and the movement of goods throughout the national territory”, which extends the agreement with Tirrenia for those routes considered unprofitable.
Service kept up by the owner
The provision, also requested by the trade unions, will be valid until the tenders for the assignment of the sections are carried out. Not only that, in the event of “failure to complete the procedures” on 31 May there is the possibility of a further extension of thirty days. In the case of Sardinia, it concerns the sections between Cagliari and Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo. Throughout March, since the last extension had expired on 28 February, the service was still guaranteed by the Onorato group. A situation that had pushed trade unions and Confindustria to give life to a real pressure on the Region and the ministry so that “the services were guaranteed by law”. “For a period the service was ensured thanks to the benevolence of the shipowner – remembers Arnaldo Boeddu, regional secretary of Filt Trasporti – a positive fact but which had to be overcome by a regulatory instrument, because without an agreement it could have been interrupted at any time” .
Now the calls for the routes
With the enactment of the decree, a new phase is now opening. “Having obtained the extension on the continuous maritime routes and waiting to know which shipowners have participated on the Olbia Civitavecchia, the only route up to now whose tender expired on March 31 last – adds Boeddu -, all the nodes indicated several times remain to be solved “. Concerning the participation of shipping companies in tenders for the assignment of routes. “It remains to be seen whether the offers will be presented for all the routes or only for those deemed profitable – argues Boeddu -. Because in this case, Sardinians but not only Sardinians could be denied the right to mobility since the connections would be exercised in total freedom by shipowners ”. Without forgetting the employment issue linked to Tirrenia seafarers. “It will be necessary to safeguard the jobs – he continues – if the sections are assigned to another shipowner”.
Antitrust sanctions canceled
On the Tirrenia front, which in recent days had presented the debt recovery and restructuring plan to the Milan court, there is also another novelty. “The Council of State confirmed the cancellation of the fine of 29 million euros that had been imposed by the Competition and Market Authority on the companies of the Onorato Group on February 28, 2018 for an alleged abuse of a dominant position – says the company -. The sentence, which confirms that of the Lazio TAR of June 2019, censures the sanction initially imposed by the Agcm following the complaint presented by some companies and a competitor “.