Europe needs to understand the strategic importance of Greek shipping as the owner of 59% of the EU fleet, especially in times when shipping can play a crucial role in the continent’s scramble for energy independence, said Melina Travlos, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) during a press conference at Posidonia Exhibition on Friday.
“Energy transition is the most important issue for us. What Europe does with decarbonisation regulations such as Fit for 55 and Emissions Trading System (ETS), must be guided by the need to preserve and promote the competitiveness of European shipping as a whole. Certain decisions may be detrimental to our industry and could risk losing our competitive edge against competition from Asia and other regions,” she said.
Travlos added: “We want a global solution and not one that is only impacting specific regions. We want realistic solutions that safeguard navigation safety.”
“Through memberships in various organizations, Greek shipping is present in every international forum where we always try to help the implementation of the right policies for the industry. Europe insists on Fit for 55, whereas we insist that the solution must be international within a framework set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“Traditionally Greek shipping is the first to invest in new technologies and new vessels, therefore we will also be the first to adopt any new solutions once they are made available to us. Any new fuel or technology come at cost which is ultimately passed on to the end consumer. This needs to be made widely known.
“We will continue to defend the position and interests of Greek shipping. We want people to understand the importance of shipping in our everyday lives because the industry is not just a business, but a strategic partner for every country, every government. This is something that is not clear, and we want to help fix it,” said Travlos.
The eagerly anticipated UGS press conference held every two years at Posidonia – last held four years ago due to the pandemic-induced cancellation of the 2020 event – was the icing on the cake of an incredibly busy programme of 68 shipping star-studded conferences and seminars during the exhibition’s five-day span.