World Shipping: Caution for the coming years as the markets, all markets are unsustainable. Overcapacity and World Politics the name of the Game. Greece must get its act together before is to late too…
The following are the main points from the latest John Faraclas live interview to Panos Thomakos on SBC TV last Friday the 15th of February 2013:
1. On the Markets, Faraclas, following Moundreas’ weekly video on the state of the market (chartering, S & P, as well as the shipbuilding industry), and despite the commentator’s view that the market might go up, once again reiterated his view that the same views where aired back when the market fall down to 6, 000 – for a second time- and then never ever gained its strength going down to 662 points in 2008. With the market closing up 5 points to 753 from 748 that was “good” news…
2.Faraclas cautioned the markets, as overcapacity continues to be the name of the game and one should be cautious on what else is yet to come.
3. On the world economy and taking the example of the 0.6 centum drop of the retail market in the UK – which triggered simultaneous announcements all over Europe for equal or higher downfalls, made Faraclas reconfirm his view that we live in an economic climate where sustainability is absent! He added that there are economic-geopolitical issues greatly affecting the markets. He hinted a possible surge of Islam, mentioning what happened when to Soviet Inion fall and all the south republics being mostly or close to overall Muslim become independent states. That might be an issue in the western China. He also hinted that the world’s shipping straits* by 60 plus percent are in Muslim nations dominion.
4. Thomakos countered on all these issues as well as on the economic war raging these days with Energy issues, with the Americans trying to maintain their lead, Chinese wishing to take over and Russia on a powerful note reminding everybody what Russia has always been – the fact that covers more or less the 50 centum of the Asian Continent means a lot! The fact that the meteorites fall in Russia shows a lot of things towards its supremacy in the world’s stage…with respect a vast country with whatever this entails He also said that there is misery and this misery is not a nice sign. The Europeans are in the middle of all this melee trying to do “their” job too… too many conflicts, Thomakos added. Faraclas counter in agreement that this is a very gloomy reality and we are going to see unbelievable things happening…
5.Faraclas continued with some positive issues affecting Greece, namely the intervention and participation of the Union of Greek Shipowners vis-a-vis the maritime education and training, the creation of jobs and other matters. He said that this seafaring jobs and in general the seafaring profession is what is compatible with the Greek’s DNA for over ten millennia. Not only is the best paid job overall, but from seafaring the Greek become shipowners and more than that! He mentioned also that all these positive interventions and support is fine, but if Greece wants an in depth development in creating seafarers, good seafarers there should here and now construct a training ship for them, as well as for shipping lawyers, shipping / finance bankers, and others for furthering the industry. If you hand over tour CV and say you are going to become a ships sale and purchase broker you must know what you are buying for your client; you don’t buy a pig in a poke! Again, he said all this is fine; it was nice to hear the Greek Prime Minister replying properly to the oppositions questions. All these issues though must be properly materialized.
6.Thomakos questioned Faraclas’ view on the latest in the Greek Coastal Shipping field, given that there are complaints with respect the inability for Coastal Shipping Lines to proceed with the issuance of tickets and schedule calls to the Greek Islands, mainly for Tourists, as foreign tourists arrange well in advance – from now on as well as during March and April, to book their holidays. Moreover he said that this year the manna from havens is in the tune of 17 million tourists which will greatly contribute to the ailing Greek Economy. Faraclas countered that he fully agrees with the importance of Greek Coastal shipping, which, as he stressed, together with the short-sea shipping is Greece’s most important factor for its existence for thousands of years. He said that these issues should have been settled from “last night” and have the Unions agreeing to work for the common purpose of success and development and not strike, but also, although this is manna from heavens Greece must look after its total infrastructure which in many ways is at best weak! The pricing too, the value of Euro – value for money on what tourists spend and in return what services they get!
7.With respect the Ministry of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean, Faraclas said that it must get its act together and short out all internal issues with the new draft law which must be workable and clear the entire issue with the Hellenic Coast Guard Officers and personnel once and for all. The first people that we meet, he said wherever we go, mainland or Greek islands and heir ports are the Hellenic Coast Guard Officers which greatly contribute and assist the Greek Coastal Shipping, Passengers and Tourists! The Law must clear and give here and now the various responsibilities to the Coast Guard Officers who must run the Ministry and avoid in the future legal issues such as their tasks etc etc. Things must be clear. The Ministerial intention is here and same must be properly administered and structured as to the HCG tasks and responsibilities.
As far as the licenses granted by the Ministry for the Coastal Service ships which ply in the Greek waters and due to the occurred problems, Faraclas said that: Let’s see how they will manage and clear the situ as they have created a big mess and these responsible as we have already mention last time round, are the politicians / ministers! When a vessel is presented to the ministry its speed and consumption factors must be thoroughly assessed, the manning issue to as well as all other matters on this issue. They must do an in-depth risk and commercial assessment so as to enable under any circumstances the continues movement of passengers and tourists! Thomakos said that this is the situation, whatever has been done has been done…
Faraclas continued and raised the issue of behavior of public servants, mentioning the lawyers in Greece who work for State or Public Corporations and or Institutions and simultaneously work privately for their own coffers, putting people from the Greek Public under duress in various cases, by using their state cover; this must stop here and now! Thomakos agreed mentioning that here are people pressing others by calling them from within institutions, such as the Tax Avoidance State Office demonizing their clients opponents. Faraclas took the matter further by saying that Europe is watching for this illegalities and might soon step in, so let’s stop this situation here and now!
8.Ending the interview, Faraclas said that that on a good note this Greek Shipowners movement with respect the maritime education and training for Greece will greatly assist in the creation of jobs alike the 50’s, 60’s to reduce unemployment. Thomakos strongly counter that the youngsters unemployment in Greece had reached 61 percent, so who will become seafarers. Faraclas endorsed Thomakos point and said that: precisely who is going to become a seafarer when his mother, grandmother or father is being taxed by a hustler’s method in Greece? The best pension fund, the Seaman’s Pension Fund (NAT) has been totally destroyed by the Greek state- politicians mainly from the Socialist clan. How one can think of becoming a seafarer with reduced wages by the state’ intervention? The manipulative disposal of the Seaman’s Pension Fund Properties never ever happened in any other nation! Let’s remember who paid for Operation Golden Fleece… We are a self-destructing nation and here and now this policy must end!
Thomakos asked: “How do you see the situation on the Greek Costal Services this coming season?” Faraclas said that there many issues to be solved such as the oil prices, the seafarers agreements…. Every time there is a new government we start from the beginning and even if one issue is shorted out, another one comes in. The seafarers and the unions must come down to their senses!
We look forward to our viewer comments. As usual there will be a translation into English and viewers can log on here to listen: