econostrum.info : You have responded to the invitation for tenders for the 2014-2023 Public Services Outsourcing, but your competitors believe that your fleet cannot meet the challenge… What do you have to say?
Pierre Mattei: It is not for them to judge. Our ships already transport 30% of the freight and 63% of the passengers going to Corsica. We can only assume that our customers find them satisfactory. We have complied with the Public Service Obligations that were voted.
We offer flexible, economical solutions. Corsica Ferries is not in a position to provide the entire service single-handedly, but we the CTC (Collectivité Territoriale de Corse) to know the fair price and to use our services on one or several lines.
Your offer is much lower than the SNCM-CMN joint offer. Do you really think that the OTC (Office des Transports de la Corse) can turn down these two companies, at the risk of jeopardizing their survival?
P. M: We are not offering the whole service but an offer on each of the lines, a catalogue from which the CTC can choose. Ultimately, there could be a combination of all three companies. There is no point in playing a game if the result has already been decided.
The SNCM has stated that after 2014 the peak service ships - although excluded from the Public Services Outsourcing- will continue to serve Marseilles. They will also serve Toulon and Nice. Which proves that there are services outside of the Public Services Outsourcing!
A policy that is the product of the conditions created by the market and the competition
To make an offer, the Office requires the production of the company's accounts and the formation of a company that is dedicated to the Corsica lines. Have you met these requirements?
P. M: What a strange question! I invite you to check who has filed their accounts at this point in time. Of course the OTC has our accounts, and we meet the specifications, which require a dedicated company, among other things.
What will be your tariff policy, if your offer is not accepted, given the Corsica Transport Office's new requirements and in particular the absence of financial compensation?
P. M: The policy will be the product of the conditions created by the market and the competition, with the hope that the use of massive subsidization will stop in the markets for which we do not receive anything.
You threatened to take the OTC to court for the imposition of minimum fares, have you done so?
P. M: Yes. How can it be possible that they can oblige us to increase our prices and reduce our capacity? In what respect does it help Corsica if our customers see the lowest price increased by 100% for passengers and 40% for freight? In our opinion it is illegal to impose these constraints in Nice and Toulon to protect the assignee for Marseilles. Furthermore, we are not the only ones of this opinion. The CGPME (editor's note: a French
interprofessional organisation representing small and medium-sized businesses), has also attacked this decision.