ATHENS – Greece’s tax-free shipping oligarchs, who rule the world’s waves but have many of their vessels fly flags from other countries, are back to conducting Posidonia, the world’s biggest shipping fair, after a three-year break because of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
With the New Democracy government having essentially ended health restrictions in a bid to lure more tourists and speed an economic recovery, the country looks to have return to almost normal despite the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus.
That means no masks indoors which is a boon for the fair with organizers saying it’s bigger and better than ever, and a major attraction for owners of vessels around the world who look to it.
Posidonia Exhibitions Managing Director Theodore Vokos noted that this year there would 1,929 companies from 88 countries, 68 conferences and seminars, and the 24 national pavilions.
Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis greeted the return of Posidonia that comes against the backdrop of Iran having seized two Greek vessels in retaliation for Greece helping the United States confiscate oil from a tanker off Greece’s coast.
“Holding the two vessels hostage violates any sense of law, upsets the regulatory system on maritime legislation and threatens the security of shipping and global trade,” the minister said, asking the world shipping community to pressure Iran.
The President of Greek shipowners union, Melina Travlou, said the situation is “unheard of and unprecedented,” and asked her world peers and colleagues to back Greece and an effort to “get this over and done with.”
The event begins June 6 at the Metropolitan Expo center near Athens International Airport and will feature a host of other events, including the Posidonia Games, with some 3,000 participants.
There’s also the Posidonia Cup, a 23-sea mile sailing race in its 10th edition with 45 crews and 500 participants and a 3 x 3 basketball tourney, running event, golf tournament and shipsoccer tourney.