The major challenge that Greece now faces is that of achieving “blue growth” and exploiting the potential of generating weath from the sea, Greece’s new Shipping and Island Policy Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) published on Sunday.
“The sea can once more prove to be the touchstone that extricates all Greeks from its stagnation, provided that we can get together behind a vision that energises and motivates the country’s efforts,” Kouroumblis said.
The minister said he had adapted to his new ministry very quickly and was prepared to build on the work of his predecessor Thodoris Dritsas, whom he described as “an exceptional man who has made an exceptional effort.”
“Now this effort will acquire a bolder interventionism,” he added, while indicating his willingness to work together with ship owners.
“I want Greek ship owners to be the modern Epirote benefactors and, on the other hand, for them to recognise the important role of labour on the ship and the important presence of Greek seamen,” he said.
Kouroumblis said that a first meeting with Greek ship owners was held in London “and I think they were very excited by our discussion when they left.” He said the ministry was taking the first steps to cut down on bureaucratic problems that troubled the shipping sector abroad and was thus making a new start toward dynamic changes.