World Economy, Greece and the shipping markets: a new world order still to come…
The following are the main points from the latest John Faraclas live interview to Panos Thomakos at the SBC TV’s studios last Thursday the 2nd of May 2013:
1)The weather was as usual the opening point from both sides with Thomakos saying that “we welcome you with a fantastic weather” …but Faraclas “claimed” that he… brought the nice weather from UK, which is favorably affected, like Scandinavia, by the Gulf Stream…
2) Straight into the Markets, the shipping Markets where Faraclas said that there are minor positives signs with the BDI at 873 points (up 11 from Wednesday) but in total, only 2 point up from last Friday (26th April), and if it wasn’t for the plus 43 points of the Capers, the Market was going to be worse… Thomakos agreed with Faraclas’ previous interviews remarks and predictions, that the markets lack strength and drive, and Faraclas said that a good market will be only the one above the 2, 000 point-mark of the BDI alike in the 2002/2003 period. Thomakos stressed the issue of owners still building ships and how Harry Vafias was concerned, just a month ago with this issue and the overcapacity
3) Faraclas mentioned that few people have done a proper projection of what will happen in 2025 with the ten biggest cities in the world to be in the emerging markets and in particular in the Far East, the energy needs, etc. He mentioned Kurt Karl’s views on how things will be and the risks involved. The Chinese will have a formidable buying power and will “hit” the markets. Europe must rise to the circumstances and challenge the Chinese challenge. Thomakos mentioned that there is a stagnation as a result of a “fatigue”, that people in America (US) and Europe had it all (luxuries, good life, the lot) and nobody cares… as they have ample money saved and don’t bother for investments and further development – needing only a quiet life… Faraclas agreed. He further mentioned the destruction of the tax havens by the state-lead governments (politicians to cover other sins) where money existed for investments, with President Hollande of France being the first to start such an attack on tax havens destruction. The issue of taxation and tax havens covered a great deal of this part of the interview with Thomakos seeing the pros and cons and Faraclas explaining the good only pros!
4)Faraclas mentioned that the US is the best model of a state, with a Federal Government, political union, serious and ethical Unions in contrast with Europe and the majority of the rest in the World. Faraclas mentioned that one can say that the USA is the “best communist nation” in the World… with the America (US) workers achieving everything…
5)Thomakos questioned, what’s up now…. Are we going to see any further investments in all aspects of the world economy due to this stagnation? What’s going to happen? Faraclas mentioned that the investors where “stubbed at the back” unethically by the state’s personnel (politicians). Faraclas said that only via the Stock Markets development and investment can take place, stressing the importance for Greece of the Athens Exchange! Greece can use its mineral recourses (oil, gas, gold), tourism to improve its position without using the funds from these earnings to pay-back the supposed bail-out funds. What about the damages that Greece is still suffering, and it is owed, from the Second World War, not just the reparations etc…
6)Faraclas ended the first part by stressing the importance of investing in the Athens Exchange. Local and foreign investors will benefit from their participation in the Athens Stock Exchange and that will trigger the beginning of new era in Greece for better days.
7)Recapping the first part, Thomakos asked Faraclas from where he sees the economy’s kick off, from where same can begin… Will that be technology, the internet? Is that enough? Faraclas countered that if products and services are not crossing the frontiers between two nations, the soldier’s boot will. So here, if we do not circulate the money, and avoid using the savings – which is painful. So we need short and long term investments for the global economy. Greece for example, is not Greece in a narrow-minded view: Greece is the market for all markets. We play at their (Stock) Markets, they play (invest) in ours, these are important matters. The kicking of the Economy will happen through the trust in the Stock Markets! It will be the best ever action for the Greek people as well as that of our friends abroad who believe in Greece’s future, to support us and invest in the Athens Stock Exchange. This will change for the better everything! The changes that Europe demands, must take lace and they are proper. The public servants must be reduced! The good life and the relaxation as well as the apathy that we observe will change. Take the USA for example, the best nation in the world. Thomakos intervened in saying that the USA also “import” people…without limits and obstacles… Faraclas with emphasis mentioned that this nation gets better all the time, with its population rising from 200 million to 310 million people (from 1960 today). He US will try to maintain the leadership of the World for the next 50 to 100 years. To do this, they don’t want a strong Europe. We invite our Americans friends to co-operate. As we are in NATO, and NATO is not just the military wing, take the issue of an alarm due to a war, all ships, Greek flag vessels will join in, that’s why we have lists to know at any given time the capabilities of these vessels and their condition. I hope nobody can deny this.
8)Thomakos questioned whether the Chinese can come to terms and have a balance, or that a “collision” takes place… Faraclas replied that there will be a collision between Europe and China as America, the US, fully supports China: Sending row materials, manufacturing most of its goods there and buying them back, forgetting that, they like it or not, Europe is the cradle of industry; the fact that despite ships being built in the Far Easter Yards, China, S. Korea and even Japan, most are transported from Europe. Remember that in the fifties, sixties and seventies for example European companies, take Sulzer (the main Engine makers) for example, now Wartsila, created factories in Japan, and we had for example Uraga Sulzer. MAN too…etc., European Companies!
9)Thomakos then asked what Faraclas meant with his mentioning on Agroterrorism. Faraclas replied with four named examples and the repercussions for the shipping industry, as ships carry agro products, and even containers can be contaminated, not just the fields growing the crops! With 22 plus percent of the Greek fleet being involve in the transportation of goods including these agricultural products you can imagine how important is the security from the field itself to the terminal, on board and then on destination…
10)Thomakos continued on the issue of the environment and the double hull ships, the accidents that have happened, as well as the emissions. Faraclas briefly mentioned that shipping has in general the less noxes and emissions and he also expressed his personal opposition on the double hull concept which is a result of discipline on behalf of today’s seafarers. The forthcoming MEPC in London 13-16 May will deal with the Water Ballast Management and the Emissions.
11)Faraclas continued the MLC 2006 conference organized by the Maria Tsakos Foundation at the Evgenides Foundation Auditorium and the WISTA-Med on the 6th and 7th of June in Hydra, Greece where all these matters that we discussed including the environment and working conditions will be thoroughly discussed.
12)On the Seafaring matters, the importance of human resources, Faraclas opposed the pilot scheme “Nearchos” that the Greek Government introduced, shaming a nation’s seafaring tradition of over ten millennia, by introducing this pilot scheme in 2013…
13)Faraclas mentioned that there should be an end to the despicable and inhumane taxation imposed on the seafarers and in particular the pensioners by the current Greek Regime obeying to wrong and inhumane European Union policies as a result of Greece’s bailout..Thomakos mentioned that the seafarers have a good remuneration, despite that seafaring is a difficult occupation, yet, despite this good factor, we do not have people to follow it. Faraclas pointed out that the regimes in Greece have wrong policies and that the academics involved make it a mess, mentioning (in a good reminder) that Otto Bismarck’s principle was never to include an academic in his Government. Thomakos intervened by saying in German what Bismarck said. Mr. Simitis was, amongst his other “credentials”, an academic prime minister of Greece and he closely cooperated with Prof. Spraos from the LSE, yet they both failed to project the age factor, as people live more, hence there should have been a provision for the pensions and the strength of the respective pensions funds in the budgets and forward planning of the nation. They have spectacularly failed and now people suffer. Their projectability was a simple zero!! How one ignores the longlivity of the Greeks?
14) Let’s see, Faraclas mentioned, a proper leadership in Greece. We lack leaders in Greece, you have also understood this issue on a previous interview, as the parties participating in this current coalition, pull the ends of this government and all these actions lead to a torn situation, a situation that cannot be further tolerated! Besides you have the other small parties “screaming” on other issues such as Mr. Kammenos’ point on the exclusive economic zone, the 12 miles issue. We need to see Mr. Avramopoulos declare the 12 sea-miles issue, here and now. Let’s not forget that Mrs. Thatcher went to war for the Falkland’s Islands at the South of the Atlantic; the oil issue was important and the sovereignty of these islands important for the United Kingdom, and the late Andreas Papandreou did stressed this matter to the Iron Lady, during one of the many Aegean Sea conflict which sparked with Turkey. People have a very wrong understanding and view on the Aegean Sea and how same should be tackled!
15) Faraclas said we must have a better future following Thomakos’ remark on how positively Faraclas and the shipping fraternity face the maritime issues for Greece, and the various other issues, given the pessimistic image one can find lately on the Greeks
The above and other issues on Greece and World Politics can be heard and viewed in the video above; we look forward to our viewers comments. As usual there will be a translation into English (hopefully subtitles).