The following are the main points from the latest John Faraclas live interview to Panos Thomakos on SBC TV last Friday the 1st of March 2013:
1)Thomakos started as usual with the question on the Markets, the shipping freight markets. Faraclas replying to Thomakos’ question that: “…at last we have something positive to say; the rise of the BDI by 36 points reaching 776 – naively adding that this number coincides with the ancient Greece’s first Olympic games… is a good omen but only a mere drop in the ocean, given the difficult overall situ, with the overcapacity factor looming in the background. Only the capes continued their hick ups, whilst all other sectors including Panamaxes and Handies ‘did well’ “.
Thomakos mention that during Capital Link’s the Greek Shipping Forum, somebody asked the bankers whether we “…are going to see light in the end of the tunnel or the light comes from the approaching train to finish us off…
The Container trade too shows dropping signs in the freight rates of 8 centum to North Europe, 10 centum to the Med and in the case of North Europe the spot rates dropped by even a 14 percent cap. “If we see this sector, the Container sector, dropping and following early last January’s analysis from your studio, you can imagine the state of the world shipping and conversely the world economy, as most of the cargoes now are being carried by containerships – that’s a serious situation. The consumers’ society has a problem; shopping is being reduced and it’s not the rich to judge and see what they are doing, is the masses, the middleman in the street that goes off for retail shopping. Austerity is one thing, development yet another” Faraclas said
2)Thomakos then raised the issue of the latest deal signed with COSCO, HP and Trenose , a positive step as he called it; HP will load from Piraeus, it’s good for Trenose, Cosco looks likely that will take over another berth in the Port of Piraeus and Faraclas endorsed the whole issue agreeing but, also reminding that “life has two doors”, and the north of Greece and in particular Kavalla should get the same players there so as to” conquer” the entire area of 700 million people, out of which 345 will be served in the North/East of Europe and Russia. “The Marco Polo story is known as well as the Silk Road with whatever this entails…” he said.
Thomakos went further saying “…why goods cannot be transported from the north via Siberia to Europe on land” and mentioned “…how well the shipping industry plans ahead”. Faraclas said that it is dangerous and expensive. Terrorists can always attack and disrupt the supply trading chain/line, as already there have been incidents with pipelines, convoys etc. , in the greater periphery as well as to many places in the eastern basically hemisphere. So, simply the big volumes of cargoes of any kind can only be transported safely, to a greater extent, by sea-transport!
Greece is in the world’s best cross-roads assisting all. Thomakos mentioned also the up and coming Africa, the continent which has a great potential and with Greece being in the Cross Roads of three continents can be the hub for all! Faraclas agreed mentioning the good rapport Greece has in the entire area, the Med in particular!
3)Thomakos wondered, and given the opposition of the centre left parties, what the Greek masses want: “a Greece flourishing in all fronts, shipping, industry, tourism, gold mining or a Greece of envy, poverty with whatever this entails alike in the period post WWII?”. Faraclas agreed stressing the fact that all these masses governed by the Unions internally and pushed by external force too, want to destroy the country. At the end of the day, people in Greece should choose what they want!
4) Faraclas continued with some positive developments, one being the Merchant Marine Ministry’s New Law which he hopes that prior becoming a Law in Parliament, same is suitably amended and governed by the correct articles avoiding future conflicts. Additionally he praised the new electronic system for registering ships under the Greek Flag and hopes that the Ministry has done a good job as well as has made the appropriate rehearsals to see whether it makes sense, avoiding future problems and reticulation. He hopes that all documentation forms from other flags was considered and the best was proposed/entered to make it ergonomic, positive and give an end to red tape and loss of currency for Greece.
5)Another Law is the 27/75, one of his articles being that under no.26 on Taxation etc., of shipping companies “organising” a form which should be appropriately filled by companies, and in Faraclas’ view – he objected same, should be thoroughly investigated. It coincides with the Lagarde List with some 49 names out of 2, 000, of possible tax evaders, some of which refer to people from the shipping industry, an act that Faraclas objects. Funds are earned abroad, this is a set up. These billions are not money from services of ships carrying cargoes to Greece. It gives the wrong impression and people will accuse the shipowners and industrialists, and the public opinion will get it all wrong. Those accusing Greece should look firstly the skeletons in their own cupboard! Faraclas said that back in December 1987 he wrote an article saying that “…if there where the appropriate financial and trusted climate in Greece, the Greek shipowners would have brought the majority of their funds from abroad in Greece making it possible for the Greeks to lend money to, even, Northern Europeans! If you see how the Greek State is after those people and demands within five days to “report”, then you can see that something sinister is going on… Thomakos said what short of Greek employees we want; those white or blue collar ones with receiving peanuts, playing the good Christians alike the film depicting them in the 50’s and 60’s? or we want the well aid ones who offer in the progress and development of the country. Indeed he said that all these lefties want to have the working hours of a public servant (from 8 to 4) and the wages of a shipowner…”
Faraclas reiterated whether all this happening is coincidental or not and given the previous Economist’s cover with the title “The missing US$ 20 trillion – how to stop companies and people dodging tax”, he really wonders. “All the tax havens mentioned, etc., where not set up by the Greeks; others invented them!” he mentioned.
“You have to ask us, the shipbrokers, to tell you for example (he fully analysed it) what happens when you receive the documentation of a vessels and half of her papers are from Panamanian Authorities and half from Delaware….” Faraclas said.
Faraclas mentioned that only via the shipping industry Greece and its people will surpass its colossal problems, and that’s a fact! The Austerity measures will backtrack! It will be the boomerang and same must be avoided at all costs.
6)Faraclas went on about the Environmental issues mentioning the important position that John Plastidakis took on the emissions etc., stressing the fact hat the shipping industry lacks of a public profile which will cost dearly, if the shipping community doesn’t tackle properly the wrong headed rules and regulations. .. A brave stance by the Chairman of Intercargo. Shipping shouldn’t be seen as a soft target. Faraclas went further on to say the entire issue of MRV’s and how same should be viewed. The EU should thoroughly expedite the issue and the IMO should be the base, but the also the right view should prevail.
Finally, he emphasised that justice should prevail on all wrong doers, tax dodgers included, but the way things stand now, the enemies of Greece want to destroy the poor and the rich, the rich and the poor! Indeed there should be checking on all, but same should be for the entire population! Then we can speak about justice.
Greece shouldn’t be taken for an easy ride, nor its people. Those who set-up the Greeks will firstly fall in their own Roman den… Calling a fast one is one thing, but beware of the Greek Armageddon!
We look forward to our viewer comments. As usual there will be a translation into English and viewers can log on here to listen: