The link between Greece and the rest of EU countries: Status and prospects

Orestis D. Schinas, Harilaos N. Psaraftis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to critically investigate the transportation link between Greece and the rest of European Union (EU) countries. Greece is the only non-island EU country which is not adjacent to the rest of the contiguous EU countries. Since the breakout of the war in the territory of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, the main land link through the Balkan peninsula has become dangerous and inadequate to carry the continuously growing transport load. The other link of Greece to the rest of the EU is intermodal: it connects western Greek ports with eastern Italian ports via the Adriatic Sea. Under the present circumstances, and in spite of many problems, this particular link represents the only promise for a viable connection between Greece and the rest of the EU. The volume and value of the trade between Greece and the rest of EU countries are continuously growing. However, the existing network has reached its capacity, and poblems of insufficient land traffic interconnections are now becoming more complex, demanding immediate action. The paper has two major objectives: the first is to describe the network by analysing the statistical data provided by public and private sources and by making references to the institutional framework. All land and sea connections, including port infrastructures, are also described. Extensive analysis of data provides an image of the traffic in ports and an ability to make aggregate projections of the traffic in the future. The second objective is to foresee what may happen in the near future. As new fast ships may enter the routes of the Adriatic, and a new institutional environment is taking shape by EU rules and regulations, this trade will never be the same again. In order to achieve this objective, the paper estimates the transport cost and performs a modal split analysis. The new technology fast ships are technically and economically investigated. The analysis shows that a major problem is the economic viability of the fastships, which leads to a higher required fare and thus prohibits some carriers to use them. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such an analysis has been performed for the Adriatic Sea link.The paper ends with several conclusions and recommendations, which point to the inadequacies of the system and can suggest ways for a better performance of nodes, modes, branches and the whole network in general.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1996
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventThird European Research Roundtable Conference om Shortsea Shipping - Bergen, Norway
Duration: 20 Jun 199621 Jun 1996
Conference number: 3


ConferenceThird European Research Roundtable Conference om Shortsea Shipping


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