Greek seafarers believe Brussels is threatening their competitiveness in the globalized sector.
Greek shipowners controlling most of the EU navy on Friday criticized the EU’s climate plan. They saw this as a threat to the “competitiveness of European maritime transport” and called for universal rules. The European Commission’s route map (“Fit for 55”) aims to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.
Melina Travlos, president of the Greek Union of Shipping Owners (UGS), said the proposals would “damage the competitiveness of European shipping” by increasing operating costs. “We urge that the solutions be under the auspices of the International and International Maritime Organization,” Travlos told reporters at the closing ceremony of Posidonia, Greece’s flagship maritime event.
Greek ship owners are very concerned
MEPs on Wednesday rejected reforms in the European carbon market, but generally agreed to extend the European carbon market to the maritime sector, which today includes only energy and industry. According to UGS figures, Greek shipowners control about 21% of the world’s tonnage and 59% of the EU navy.
“We have to be careful about how we manage European maritime traffic,” Ms Travlos said. “The very strong (shipbuilding) industry in Europe is gone … it is gone because Europe chased it … at this rate shipping will also go east,” he added.
Russian oil transport
Despite the outrage of the international community against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the leader of the UGS also defended the Greek ship owners who continue to carry Russian crude oil. “Of course, we all condemn any such act of violence from Russia to Ukraine,” he said, but declined to comment on “legal business activities”. “Greek shipping has done nothing illegal. It has not violated any of the sanctions. When sanctions are imposed, we respect them first,” he said. Left to conscience ”, however he admitted that the procedure was not prohibited.
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