Maritime Labour Unions Need to Change, President of Greek Shipowners Says

File- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on meets with the president and board of the Union of Greek Shipowners. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Tatiana Bollari)

ATHENS – Seamanship and the maritime profession are no longer an option for the majority of young people, even under the difficult conditions of high unemployment currently burdening Greek society, Theodoros Veniamis, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners said on Thursday.

Addressing the 5th shipping conference organised by the “Naftemporiki” financial newspaper, Veniamis said that the seamanship of the Greek people must be revived and underlined that a new order of things was urgently needed, with self-criticism by everyone involved.

“Union activity seeks to protect the interests of a sector towards its development. In Greece, at this time, maritime union activity is in danger of losing the purpose of its existence, given the very low numbers of Greek crew and the reduction of Greek officers, facts that prove the need for a change of course,” Veniamis said. Commenting on the use of new fuel by ships, he said that the supply of this fuel was a challenge for the shipping industry and added that oil companies failed to make the necessary investments to lift the uncertainty within the shipping community concerning the availability and the quality of the new fuel. He noted that the maritime sector is committed to contributing to efforts to reduce emmissions through practical operating measures or mechanisms.

Veniamis said the Greek economy was heavily hit by the economic crisis in the previous decade and noted that the maritime community supported the national economy with a significant voluntary increase of fiscal revenue from shipping, but mostly with the decision of shipping companies to remain in Greece and to continue their productive operation.