We want Greek seamen to work in Greek-owned ships, Kouroumblis says

We want Greek seamen to work in Greek-owned ships and in this framework the ministry has taken an initiative for a dialogue between shipowners and seamen in an effort to find common ground and to understand the current situation, Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis said on Thursday, addressing a 3rd “Naftemporiki” shipping conference.

He stressed that Greek shipping was a global pioneer despite the country’s small size and presented the ministry’s strategic goals, while he stressed the ministry will deal with any bureaucratic problems still existing to help Greek shipowners bring their ships back under the Greek flag and said that the country will give its response to the EU at the highest political level.

Europeans must understand that Greek shipping was not only for Greece but also a power for Europe, the ministry said, adding that upgrading maritime education was a top priority for the ministry as global shipping was expected to need 150,000 officials in the next 10 years.

Kouroumblis said the ministry will support the sea cruise sector in the country and will help to overcome any bureaucratic problems facing an investment in the port of Piraeus.

Theodore Veniamis president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, addressing the conference, urged the state and seamen trade unions to overcome trade union problems and to leave the maritime labor market offer new job positions under international law. He added that the goal remained to safeguard the competitiveness of Greek shipping and that meant stability in institutional framework and curing administrative, bureaucratic problems, raising hurdles in the daily smooth operation of shipping business.

He noted that a competitive Greek shipping was closely related with a further growth of shipping cluster and stressed that European shipping was not in danger from unfair competition practices among its members, but from competition from Far East countries and rapidly growing shipping clusters developed in the region.