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Sunday, December 3, 2023

George Stefanos Varounis


ACAREER filled with important activities in banking, shipping, commerce, and journalism is that of George Stefanos Varounis. He was born in Sparta, Greece, the son of Stefanos and Vassilike (Tsarou) Varounis. He was educated in Paris, Berlin, Zurich, Milan, Athens, ienna, and London, and was graduated with a degree of law in 1904.

He was for four years private secretary to the governor of the National Bank of Greece, and after that, with headquarters in Paris, was engaged as a promoter of public work, business, railroads, and other interests in the Balkan States in connection with French banks and companies. There was no lack of funds and enthusiasm for the proposition at that time, but untoward events that then portended became actualities, and the project had to lie suspended because of first the Balkan War and afterward the European War. Since its close there is every reason to believe that at no distant day the needs of Greece and the other Balkan States for means of travel and intercommunication will find backing and realization.

Mr. Varounis came to New York in order to enter upon enterprises connected Avith shipping and international trade. He has organized a company known as the Compagnie Generale de Transports Transatlantiques, Inc., a Delaware corporation, of which he is president and controlling owner. He organized it upon a large shipping plan, based upon participation of freight between the European importer and buyer, and this company, under a contract which sells tonnage space under a tonnage certificate to a shipper, who uses it on the first trip without further freight charge, and who on subsequent trips has only to pay his proportion of the actual operating charges or expenses of the steamship, includeing repairs, insurance, dockage, supplies, labor, etc. The Compagnie Generale de Transports Transatlantiques retains 25 per cent of the tonnage for its compensation for operation and management. Safeguards against mismanagement are included in the contract, and the plan is one which assures the holder of the tonnage certificate a saving up to 50 or 75 per cent of his freight ex-pense as compared with ordinary freight rates as charged on ordinary shipments.

The Compagnie Generale de Transports Trans-atlantiques obtained permission from the United States Shipping Board on April 19, 1918, to build five 3,000-ton wooden steamers and register them under the French flag upon their completion, but the restrictions and the embargo in the export trade, the Allied Government shipping control, the prohibition of the European Allied Governments upon the export of capitals, and the restrictions and the embargo in the import trade by the European Allied Governments obliged Mr. Varounis to postpone the realization of his plan until normal conditions shall free trade from these abnormal restrictions.

Mr. Varounis is also the publisher of "Em- porion," the only Greek-American trade publication in Greek and English, in order to develop commercial relations between the United States and the Balkan States, where the Greek commercial element is the leading one. The publication is issued by the Emporion Publishing Company, Inc., of which Mr. Varounis is the head, but the publication of "Emporion" has been temporarily suspended since the blockade started, but will be resumed on the return of unhampered intercourse. An important publication, now in advanced state of preparation, is a special Greek-American Directory, which will be of the utmost value as an authority upon the subject of firms and interests identified with the international trade relations between the United States and the Balkan States and much otherwise inaccessible information.

Mr. Varounis is an authority on international trade, and especially on the internal commercial conditions and opportunities for creation of new or expansion of existing trade with the Graeco- Balkan. Littoral and interior commercial points. His business connections there are of the strongest and most influential character. In the United States he has built up favorable relations in the shipping world, and is recognized as a man whose part in the building up of the much-enlarged reciprocal commerce between America and the Elel- lenes will be a prominent one. His office is at 79 Wall Street, New York.

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