ECONOMY

Shipowners eye ministry moves

Greek shipowners appear eager to bolster the national register with more ships so that the country?s economy can benefit from the added value of their activity, after the inflow of some 155 billion euros in foreign currency from shipping over the last 12 years.

Sources from the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) stress that it is now up to the Merchant Marine Ministry to accelerate procedures for reducing bureaucracy in vessel registration and act toward strengthening the competitiveness of the Greek flag.

?In the recent meeting between the UGS board and Minister Costas Mousouroulis, the union?s president Theodoros Veniamis stated that shipowners wish to bring ships under the Greek flag. The desire has been expressed and we now have to see how the ministry is gong to make the most of it,? a UGS source said.

Out of 3,760 Greek-managed ships of at least 100 gt (gross tonnage), with a total capacity of 155,904,976 gt, the Greek register only accounts for 2,014 ships that add up to 43,397,583 gt according to data by the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.