Greek Shipping: First Among equals
The following are the main points from the latest John Faraclas live interview to Panos Thomakos on SBC TV last Friday the 1st of February 2013:
1. On the Markets, Faraclas reiterated his view that with the BDI down to 750 points there is no sustainability and the figures talk for themselves and his prediction both for the short and long terms have been verbatim right, particularly for his live interviews. A tough time indeed for the entire shipping industry. A new world order exists where the supremacy of Pax Americana in the new world order of trade can only have one partner to cope with the downward market and the success of safe trade and transport to support the seven plus billion on the planet: Greek Shipping; needless to mention for the good market. This demand logically demands that Greek interests are the best to cope with the safe transportation of goods and logistically support the human needs on the globe for the years to come. Nobody has addressed this issue before, as nobody ever “bothered” to remember whom the US “appointed” after the Second World War to carry the majority of the cargoes to rebuilt the world! The US Administration entrusted the Greek Masters of the Seven Seas! “A new era” Faraclas said, “should begin with the US and Greece!”
2. On the labour issues and in particular the ongoing saga for over fifty years with the PanHellenic Union of Seafarers, he said that in his view the union is “being” governed from external forces and that good seafarers had always a job whilst beachcombers have no future and no place in the industry, “provoking” Thomakos to check the Seaman’s Books and see for himself the length of their engagement on board ships. Good seafarers have a good code of working ethics! Lastly he said on the issue that good and proper collective agreements are a must, but same should be properly administered. Thomakos, knowing Faraclas’ sensitivity on the matter for proper and just agreements elaborated further.
3. On the issue of Greek Coastal Shipping he divided same saying that there is one which has to do with connecting the Greek Islands Archipelaga with mainland Greece so Greece can have proper internal seaways and properly serve the islanders, and that of (in addition to the one mentioned before) the one of carrying tourists to the Greek islands, which greatly contribute to the Greek economy and it is suicidal to block this from happening/running smoothly.
4. He insisted that Shipping is attainment of money and seafarers and that Unionism is an anathema that must stop here and now. Recycling of seafarers alike in the past and failed Socialists practices/examples alike the one of the late Socialist Shipping Minister George Katsifaras and the then introduction of the Rotation of Seafarers experiment of the 80’s, not only failed, but lead shipowners leave the Greek Flag…
5. As the time was limited, he mentioned that on the New Law for the Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean, article 13 on Furthering the Development of Human Recourses is a good step, but we shall see what happens in practice. Moreover he said that article 60, another interesting article, must be rephrased as it it not straight and donors/charity fans will face problems (with tax authorities)…if for example they wish to donate money for refurbishing and or repairing the Maritime Academies.
We look forward to our viewer comments. As usual there will be a translation into English and viewers can log on here to listen: