Following the Annual Ordinary General Meeting of the UGS members, which took place last Wednesday the 8th of February at the Eugenides Foundation Mansion, the President Theodore E. Veniamis took the podium and reported on the activities of 2011, as well as he gave an extensive reference on the industry with respect the maritime developments within Greece, the European Union and the World.
The proceedings of the convention continued with the election of officers for the new three year-term administration.
The newly elected Board met on Thursday the 9th of February at the UGS’ premises and after the verification of the election result, constituted as follows:
- President: Theodore E. Veniamis,
- Vice Presidents: Christos Kanellakis and Michael D. Chandris,
- General Secretaries: Panagiotis Laskarides and Constantine J. Martinos;
- Treasurer: Dr. Mathew D. Los
- Alternate Treasurer: Anastassis Papagiannopoulos
Members (in alphabetical order): George Angelakis, John Angelikoussis, Constantine Angelopoulos, George Gratsos, George Dalakouras, John Ioannides, Lou S. Kollakis, George Koumantaros, John Koustas, John Konstantakopoulos, Anthony-Thomas Lemos, Stephanos Lekanides, George S. Livanos, John K. Lyras, George Makrymichalos, John Xylas, George Economou, Spyros Polemis, George Prokopiou, Melina Travlou, Nicholas P. Tsakos and Loukis S. Fafalios.
The above, as in general all Greek Shipowners, are one of the world’s most powerfull individuals of the highest calibre and business reputation and not only further the sector, but support in many ways the international community with their silent unsolicited charitable work!
Theodore E Veniamis, comes from the sea-town of Vrontados in the Island of Chios, the motherland of many seafarers and successful shipowners for over three centuries! The son of a Master Mariner, Veniamis graduated from the University of Athens’ Commercial Faculty and has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. A successful shipowner with a multitude of other local and international activities and participations in international shipping associations, organisations, and lobbies, he leads Greece’s, Europe’s and the World’s most powerful body/lobby, in the most crucial period of the World’s Economic situation. Above all Veniamis is renowned for his charitable activities, one of which involves primary education as well as maritime!
In his speech Veniamis covered all the current Greek, European and International maritime issues and events, stressing:
- For the reinstatement of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine together with the Hellenic Coast Guard, the grave mistake that three consecutive Papandreou administrations over two and a half years is liable for with incalculable repercussions;
- The maritime education and training including the successful campaign to attract seafarers;
- The sanctions for Iran, Egypt, Libya, as well as Venezuela for the abusive legal implementation on drugs trafficking;
- The Fukushima earthquake and its consequences;
- The emissions issue and how these affect shipping;
- The Arctic Northern SeaRoute for oil to counter the Suez Canal passage and its exclusivity in the future;
- Piracy and its repercussions for shipping’s human factor and beyond;
- The supply and demand issues given the oversupply of ships and the recycling issue in no way contributing to the market vis-à-vis figures creating higher freight rates;
- The oil prices;
- The Railway connection of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean via Bolivia with Chinese finance;
- The shortage of shipping finance and availability of funds;
- The Greek reality as same enfolds till this very moment with breath-taking events and possible an unfavourable situation taking place, given the bail-out terms for Greece, hoping that the Greek National conscience will prevail;
- Emphatically mentioned all those which for personal interest destroy the Greek Shipping miracle and the Greek nation when: a) the United States Transport Minister during the UGS’s last visit hailed the Union members and Greek shipping encourage them to continue having the US Administration’s support and given that Greek ships today carry the twenty centum of all import and export of the United States of America; b) the President of the Chinese Senate declares Greece as the leading maritime super-power contributing in the carriage of sixty centum of his big nation’s energy needs which are carried with Greek tonnage; c) when ECSA’s Annual Report defines shipping as the pillar, the spearhead of Greece’s National Economy given the Euro 140 billion of currency to the Greek Nations’ coffers coming from the contribution of shipping over the last ten years;
- He stressed also with figures the position of Greek shipping with its 14 and 41 centum respective capacity of the World’s and European fleet;
- Mentioned the fact that the minister who took over the Hellenic Coast Guard under his authority accepted the creation and existence of a Mercantile Marine Ministry but with Civil personnel…(by the way he mentioned that, amongst others, the UGS offered Euros 1, 086, 000 for the repair and maintenance of the HCG boats), but also he was pleased with the outcome and listening of Greece’s current Prime Minister, characterising his attitude as a good omen and many other issues such as the cooperation with IMO, the EU, Helmepa, The Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, The Shipping Chamber of Greece.
Veniamis thanked all the members of UGS, as well as those who stepped down, congratulating them for their support, effort and contribution.
www.allaboutshipping.co.uk hopes to bring you verbatim his speech and it is about time that the shipowners of Greece, the Masters of the Seven Seas be heard for the benefit of Greece, Europe and the World; it’s about time, as no other body promotes successfully the country’s interest and capabilities, needless to say the overall safe and responsibly carrying the world’s products as no other shipping nation, to be listened and accepted in saving Greece! We have already hinted in one of our November 2011 reportings, the “ship-shape” being the buzz word to save Greece et al!