Condor compromise – Late merge Belgium – Albania crossroads

Albania takes concerted action to tackle the often chaotic situation on its roads. New details emerge in the dispute between Condor ferries and staff in St Malo. Geneva plans a new tunnel under the lake, and Belgium makes ‘Late Merging’ the law from 1 March.

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ALBANIA: you have to laugh but, to be fair, there's no date on this classic photo of traffic in capital Tirana. The south west Balkan country is currently struggling with an antiquated road system which varies from absolutely perfect in a few cases to disastrously strewn with massive potholes (according to specialist @DestinationEU). The driving licence system is victim of endemic corruption, the going rate is €100, and many street and road signs have been pinched and sold for scrap. None of this is disputed, even by the authorities. The latest uproar is over a massive sudden hike in insurance fees. High hopes lay on the shoulders of new Prime Minister Edi Rama, elected last September, who has identified modernising the transport system as a top priority. Albania is due to become an EU candidate country in June.

ALBANIA: you have to laugh but, to be fair, there’s no date on this classic photo of traffic in capital Tirana. The south west Balkan country struggles with an antiquated road system which varies from absolutely perfect in a few cases to disastrously strewn with massive potholes (according to specialist @DestinationEU). The driving licence system is victim of endemic corruption, the going rate is €100, and many street and road signs have been pinched and sold for scrap. None of this is disputed, even by the authorities. The latest uproar is over a massive sudden hike in insurance fees. High hopes lie on the shoulders of new Prime Minister Edi Rama, elected last September, who has identified modernising the transport system as a top priority. Albania is due to gain EU candidacy in June. UPDATE: see comments below.

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CONDOR STRIKE LATEST:

Condor seems ready to compromise in the dispute with staff in St Malo over pay and conditions, and the flag the ship flies under.

In line with some other ferry operators, Condor Rapide is reportedly registered in the Bahamas.

A statement from the company today said, ‘In St Malo, the 11 deck-crew on strike, are still aboard Condor Rapide and in discussions with the Condor Ferries’ negotiating team, which includes the Chief Executive and other members of the senior management team, with a view to resolving the dispute. These talks include the option of improved alternative benefits, insurance and pensions for crew members.

A team is in Marseille at the Bureau de Affaires Maritimes, undertaking a detailed evaluation of the practical implications of sailing under the French flag known as RIF.’

For the background see here.

Condor chief executive James Fulford posted this comment on a Jersey newspaper website giving the full background to the crew’s terms and conditions.

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roundup: GENEVA. Voters will decide next year whether to build a tunnel under the lake to ease traffic in the down town area. Currently cars have to drive around the lake to get from one side of the city to the other causing congestion on the existing Pont du Mont Blanc bridge across the exit of the Rhone. The tunnel would run from Avenue de France to Port Noir (see above). SERBIA. The blockade on the Belgrade-Skopje near Vranje has been removed. BELGIUM. Late merging, or the zipper method (see here for background), becomes law on 1 March with a €55 fine for those merging early ahead of motorway lane closures. New signs for electric-vehicle-charging-only parking spaces have also been created featuring a plug symbol. BULGARIA/TURKEY. The blockade at the Kapitan Andreevo-Kapikule border crossing may have ended, see yesterday, but the upcoming negotiations will be difficult because the underlying issue – that of competition between the respective countries’ hauliers – is still unresolved says the Balkan News Agency. Bulgaria particularly seems to be nursing a grievance. Watch this space.

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2 thoughts on “Condor compromise – Late merge Belgium – Albania crossroads

  1. That picture is not taken in Albania. There are no trams in Albania yet. From the cars it should be on some eastern country, albanians like Mercedes and BMW. The rest of the article is mostly correct.

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