Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis said on Friday he will exhaust all opportunities for dialog with the Greek seamen’s federation in a bid to end their more than week-long strike, but rejected the option of civil mobilization.

Speaking to private TV station ANT1, the minister said “the government cannot abandon the islands to their fate, especially those that do not have airports” and reiterated the assurances of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos that the seamen’s taxation will not change.

He also said he might convene the Council of Island Policy, as requested by the opposition, but added that he doubted their stance will change.

The seamen’s union PNO on Thursday decided to extend ongoing labor mobilizations with another 48-hour strike beginning at 06:00 on Friday and ending on Sunday morning. The strike has left ships moored in their docks and islands without transport and essential supplies throughout the past week.

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