John Faraclas’ quickie live interview to Panos Thomakos on SBC TV last Friday the 11th of January 2013, focused on the following issues:
1. The 54 plus points of the BDI – from 706 to 760, on an extremely low market with incalculable repercussions. The capers had the same minus/plus up alike the previous week, and the caution remains for all types of tonnage. The wets are still …wet…
2. Despite the low market, and as a recap for 2012, Greek interests spend US$ 8, 5 billion for 238 newbuildingand second hand tonnage and this should be considered by all 17 million Greeks, both in the country (10 million) and outside in the diaspora (7 million). It proves that the Greeks have the shipping business intuition; they have renewed their fleets, they have more eco-friendly ships! Thomakos countered that indeed this is a big plus, but people have the wrong view and their thoughts are that rich people including shipowners just spend money for fun and shopping but fail to see that that they invest their own money, or borrow money to invest! Shipping remains Greece’s spearhead for its ailing or… otherwise Economy
3. Faraclas indicated that the Greeks also enter the LNG market; the Greeks have improved to all intents and purposes their fleets, but, although not a pessimist, he said that 2013 will be a similar year, market/freight wise alike 2012 Obviously he Greeks continue their old tactic of snapping and given past experience on this issue, some did extremely well.
4. Thomakos asked how he evaluates the Institute’s of Economic and Industrial Research study, with respect Greek Shipping’s contribution to Greece’s Economy, as well as in what state is the Coastal/Passenger shipping in Greece. Faraclas said that it is worth mentioning George Gratso’s* recent statement that the Greek tax payer is subsidising with 115, 10 Euros the Greek Rails Organisation and the Greek Busses, but gives only (as subsidy) 3, 45 Euros for the coastal/passenger shipping, confirming his summer statement that the Greek Islander remains a third category citizen; an unacceptable issue!. Faraclas stressed that the main focus should be in properly organising the ports, adding from his last interview on the ports issue that the private sector’s individuals who will take part in the Ports sage are short of prepossessed vis-à-vis the new law on the activities and other matters, ending that Thursdays debate at the Athens’ University, Faculty of Economics, that the entire draft for the Ports Network is a bright example good only to be avoiding. He blamed all those advisors, saying that if the Academia comes to these conclusions, one can imagine the continuation of wrongdoing yet again !
5. On a promising note he said that although the world economy in in dire straits the FTSE is above the 6, 000 points despite the trillions of state debts, the DJ Industrial Average is above 13, 000 with nearly 17 trillions of dollars national debts and the Nikkei after the Japanese Conservatives won the latest election, is comfortably above the 10, 000 points and that the Greeks should take advantage of this situation and not fight in the Greek Parliament by introducing further taxation, whilst other nations are introducing tax benefits and breaks or retain existing ones, why should Greece at least retain the existing favourable shipping and other tax laws! He questioned what the opposition’s Mr. Dritsas has to say on all these tax favours other shipping nations or governments offer.
6. He ended in a strong tone saying that we should be careful and not to increase (the Greek Government) the taxation of seafarers and reduce the pension of the seafares-pensioners; they had enough!
7. We look forward to our viewer comments. As usual there will be a translation into English and viewers can log on here to listen:
We look forward to our viewer comments. As usual there will be a translation into English and viewers can log on here to listen:
*president of Greece’s Chamber of Shipping