OPINION

Shipping sector left to rust

Greece is a major player in international shipping, yet it is surprising to see how poorly it has taken advantage of its position of power and in maximizing the benefits it could bring to the economy as a sector and as a whole. One of the biggest factors that is to blame for this situation is the hard-core unionism that has essentially destroyed the country’s ability to serve as a hub for shipbuilding and vessel repairs over the course of the last few decades. Now the European Union is considering issuing a directive that will abolish the rights stemming from the Greek Shipping Register. Greek shipping has become as strong as it has thanks to the fact that the state has stayed out of its operations. But it is clear that successive governments have failed to develop parallel services that could have been major revenue sources, such as in restoring the country’s shipyards to full operational capacity. The reason for this is a lack of professionalism, the union movement and the inability of the Greek state to respond to the needs of the times.