A meeting in Taranto about the connections with Balkans mountains

Livorno - January, 28 2004

The potentiality offered by "Via Egnatia", a sea highway that goes from Igoumenitsa, in Greece, to Istambul, in Turkey, has been the subject discussed during the meeting organized by Taranto Port Authority about the connection between Puglia and the south Balkans. The Hellenic country should complete it within 2006. The people who took part to the meeting were the first secretary to the economic and commercial business of the embassy of Greece, Mr Evangelis Dairetzis, the President of Taranto Port Authority, Mr Sandro Petriccione, the General Secretary of TPA, Mr Michele Conte, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr Emanuele Papalia, two members of European Paliament Mr Domenico Menniti and Mr Giovanni Pittella. It has been underlined that the sea highway "Egnatia" follows, for great part, the original way of the ancient via Egnatia, the Roman road built around 140 b.C. This sea highway will be 680 Km long, and it should link, - Petriccione affirmed -, with its vertical axes the extreme points of the Jonian sea: the Italian point has Taranto port as reference point, the Greece point has Igoumenitsa port as reference point, added to other Hellenic ports. The total amount of this work is of € 3.400.000.000 and the highway, once completed, will cross an area which involves 332 communities. The " Via Egnatia" represents a worthy communication way between the Jonian Sea and the Black Sea. It gives the possibility to develop the trade also with other neighboring countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania, whose Inn-Gross Product has a high growth rate. Taranto - Mr Conte said - represents the ideal reference point not only for geographical reasons, but also because on the Italian side there is the port structure that is mostly dedicated to goods transportation. In fact, it is the first Mediterranean port for iron and steel products, and one of the most important ports for the container handling. Within the end of the year, the TPA should also have at disposal the updated port-planning scheme. The last one was issued in 1980