BUSINESS

Greek PM wants shipowners to register their fleets locally

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Shipping

More private investment in ports, incentives for Greek shipowners to fly the Greek flag on their vessels, better policing of Greece’s maritime borders by an upgraded coast guard, investments in Greek islands, and safety at sea are some of the policy priorities outlined by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his visit to the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy Thursday.

“The challenge is to make the Greek flag more attractive for Greek shipowners,” Mitsotakis said.

Greek shipowners own about 21 percent of the global merchant marine capacity among ships over 1,000 gross tons, and more than half the capacity of the European Union merchant fleet. However, most prefer to register their ships under so-called flags of convenience that allow them to pay less in taxes and reduce their operating costs generally.

Mitsotakis also promised to upgrade seamen’s and officers’ training.

Piraeus port, already largely operated by China’s Cosco, will see further private investment to improve its capacity and efficiency.

The prime minister underscored the need to secure EU funds through the 2021-27 Partnership Agreement to spend on smaller islands as an incentive for locals to stay.

Mitsotakis also spoke of the need to ensure the safety of swimmers. Drownings at sea spike during the summer.

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