A day of reckoning for Dominican Republic’s ‘owners’
Santo Domingo.- The transport sector arrives at a crossroad on Tuesday, when the Superior Administrative Court ruling for a National Business Council (CONEP) antitrust lawsuit against the State takes effect today.
What could be a day of reckoning for the transport sector known as the "country’s owners" for their frequent and often violent strikes with impunity, comes months after the CONEP waged a legal battle against the virtual monopoly in passenger routes and in hauling freight. CONEP attorney Eduardo Jorge Prats said the chaos which he affirms prevails in the country´s freight and passenger transport would be dismantled starting Tuesday.
"We are in court because the State, not Danilo Medina’s administration, has created a state of unconstitutionality, a systematic violation of the fundamental rights of companies, passengers and merchants," Jorge said, quoted by local media.
He said the CONEP doesn’t seek a custom- made suit for anyone or to substitute one monopoly for another, but to apply the rules of the game that exist to compete freely.
He noted that while it’s not a conflict between CONEP and the transport unions, the transport associations have benefited from "an attitude of omission on the part of the State."
As an example Jorge cited the transport association Conatra, headed by Antonio Marte, which in his view, "in a new order of things it’s able to compete legally in the market."
The jurist said the State needs to exert control over the bus routes, because if they are be tendered, it shouldn’t be granted to the unions, which will charge royalties later, "and the money doesn’t reach where it has to, which is the State as a regulator."