GREEK PM KEYNOTES OPENING CEREMONY WITH EU TRANSPORT COMMISSIONER AND UGS PRESIDENT ALSO ADDRESING AUDIENCE
Greek Prime Minister Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis presided this evening over the official opening of Posidonia 2022, as the world’s most prestigious biennial shipping event welcomes back to Athens the global maritime community following the pandemic-induced cancellation of the 2020 event.
The auspicious ceremony marked the resumption of the global maritime calendar’s most anticipated event, which is also the largest in size during its 54 year-long history, having grown by 7% in net exhibitor space compared to the 2018 event. A total of 1,948 exhibitors from 88 countries and 24 National Pavilions from Europe, North America and Asia will display their products and showcase their maritime credentials during the event which is expected to be attended by more than 18,000 international and Greek visitors.
Amongst them thousands of delegates who have arrived to Athens to attend the 68 conferences, seminars and workshops, scheduled to take place at the Metropolitan Expo Centre Venue over the next four days.
Speaking in front of an 800-strong audience comprising heads of states, international shipping ministers, EU officials, chairpersons of international organisations, Greek cabinet members and decision makers from the world’s biggest maritime companies, the Greek Prime Minister opened his speech praising the Greek shipping industry for its 7% contribution to the country’s GDP and the 200,000 jobs it has created for Greek citizens.
He also revealed details of a letter he sent to the President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen.
He said: “I called on her to make shipping a European priority with four pillars: First, to intensify the research and development of technologies and alternative fuels that will be compatible with the environment, safe for ships and sustainable for the economy. Secondly, to review European legislation in order to ensure a level playing field in the transportation sector. Thirdly, the distribution of revenue from the European emissions trading scheme, especially in maritime trade, to be fairly distributed among the Member States. And fourth, to apply the mechanism of the ‘polluter pays’ principle with the operator responsible and not the shipowner. A position fully shared by the European Parliament.”
The EU Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Adina Valean said: “I am a believer in the power of the market to choose the best technologies for a specific task. Our role as regulators is to set the goal and the path to follow. It is for industry to choose the best technology for their vessels and business. Technologies are abundant – but not necessarily easy to implement at scale. And it is precisely these challenges that make Posidonia so important; a place to bring all actors together; to discuss, test, and forge new partnerships to move us forward.”
Ms Melina Travlos, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners said: “It is a top priority that the European, as well as the international regulatory and legislative framework, contribute to the progress and development of shipping and not to the creation of deadlocks. Universal and feasible solutions are required. Solutions that will not distort international competition and will not endanger the safety of navigation. This is the only way to handle the modern challenges of our industry effectively.”
On behalf of the organisers, Theodore Vokos, Managing Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., said: “Posidonia is back, stronger and bigger than ever before, as the industry’s renewed momentum refuels our commitment in making this a memorable biennial gathering for the global maritime community to network, learn and interact, today and tomorrow. The resumption of Posidonia is also great news for the Athens economy as the event is responsible for a Euro 60 million turnover for the local hospitality, transportation and F&B sectors.”
Posidonia 2022 will be held from June 6 – 10 at the Metropolitan Exhibition Centre. Posidonia 2022 is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.