Greek Government News

18 Feb 2019

Two Bangladeshi Workers Killed in Shipbreaking Yard

Pic from NGO Shipbreaking Platform video

Two Bangladeshi workers were killed Monday in a fire that started in the engine room of an end-of-life tanker being dismantled at a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the NGO Shipbreaking PlatformMd Jamil, 23 years old cutter man, and Bipul lost their lives while scrapping the ship GREEK WARRIOR (IMO 9191412) at Shagorika Ship Breaking Yard. According to local media, Jamil was burned and rushed to Chittagong Medical College Hospital. He died before reaching the hospital.

07 Jun 2018

Inmarsat Signs MOU with Hellenic Space Agency

Left to right: Inmarsat’s Maritime President Ronald Spithout with Christodoulos Protopapas, Chairman of the Hellenic Space Agency (Photo: Greg Trauthwein)

Satellite communications provider Inmarsat has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Hellenic Space Agency (HSA) to allow greater collaboration on research and potential technology development.The agreement, which will include a focus on satellite projects related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the maritime sector, was signed this week at the international shipping event Posidonia 2018 in Athens by Inmarsat’s Maritime President Ronald Spithout and Christodoulos Protopapas…

30 Jun 2017

Perama Ship Repair Zone Floating Dock Getting Ready

Photo:  Piraeus Port Authority S.A.

Perama Ship Repair Zone dock maintenance works completed and the new floating dock is expected to get ready by November 2017. P. Kouroumplis, Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy, S. Pitsiorlas, Deputy Minister of Economy and Development, the Mayor of Perama, I. Lagoudakis, the Secretary General Ch. Lampridis,  I. Angelopoulos, Chairman of Regulatory Authority for Ports (RAL), Piraeus Members of Parliament etc have visited the Zone. Capt. Fu mentioned that the investments provided by the concession agreement begin from the ship repair sector.

06 Feb 2017

97 German Ships Beached in South Asia in 2016

Photo: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

It may seem a big surprise for a country whose industry is proud of green technology and engineering solutions, but Germany is responsible for the worst shipbreaking practices among all shipping nations when one compares the size of its fleet to the number of ships broken irresponsibly, says the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. In 2016 German owners, banks and ship funds had 97 ships rammed up on the beaches of South Asia out of a total of 99 vessels sold for demolition, meaning 98 percent of all obsolete German ships ended up on a beach.

01 Aug 2016

COSCO not seen bidding for Greek Rail Centre

Greece is still struggling to find investors for a rail freight hub that it has been trying to set up since 2008, sources close to the process said on Monday. China's COSCO had been expected to team up with other investors after the Greek government launched a new tender for the 250 million euro ($280 million) investment project last year, part of a bid to turn Greece to a European transhipment hub. Greece, which had to turn to its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund in 2010 for help in riding out a debt crisis, is still struggling to revive its economy. The selected investor will have to build a terminal with access to the national railway network and Greece's largest port in Piraeus and operate it for 60 years.

07 Jun 2016

Greek Cruise Operators Fret over Strikes Sparked by Port Sale

(Photo: Piraeus Port Authority)

Greek cruise ship operators are worried of a lasting impact on the sector from an ongoing strike by port workers protesting against the sale of the country's biggest port Piraeus to Chinese shipping giant COSCO. Greece in April agreed the sale of a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port to COSCO for 368.5 million euros under a third international bailout. Port workers have held 48-hour rolling strikes since late May, disrupting cargo operations and services provided to cruise ships docking at Piraeus over fears their jobs are at risk.

06 May 2016

Ships Idled as Greeks Strike Again

Policy reforms required to meet bailout terms; parliament expected to measures on May 8. Greeks started a 48-hour nationwide strike on Friday in anger at tax and pension reforms pursued by the indebted nation to qualify for more of a multi-billion euro bailout it signed up to last year. Called by the largest private and public sector unions, the strike left ships docked at port, disrupted public transport and kept civil servants and journalists off the job. Greece's largest labour union, the private sector GSEE, said the reforms, now pending approval in parliament, were the "last nail on the coffin" for workers and pensioners who have sacrificed enough after six years of austerity.

13 Apr 2016

COSCO in Talks to Bid for Athens Freight Terminal

Chinese shipping conglomerate COSCO is in advanced talks with Greek real estate developer Grivalia and logistics provider PAEGAE, about jointly bidding to build and operate a rail freight terminal near Athens, a Greek newspaper reported. Greece has launched a tender for the 250 million euro ($283 mln) project to build the terminal at Thriasio near Athens, which would have access to the country's railway network and its biggest port at Piraeus. COSCO's shipping unit China COSCO Shipping last week signed a deal to buy a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port , a move which fits with the group's plan to build a European transhipment hub. PAEGAE is owned by National Bank, Greece's second-biggest lender.

05 Feb 2016

COSCO Also Eyes Greek Train Network

China's COSCO already the sole bidder for Greece's Piraeus Port. Buying both would give COSCO a European transhipment hub. China's COSCO is expected to make an offer for Greece's rail network after becoming the sole bidder for the country's largest port, two people familiar with the matter said, as the state owned shipping giant forges ahead with a plan to build a European transhipment hub. Buying TRAINOSE and Piraeus Port would give COSCO maritime connections to the Suez Canal and rail links to the Balkans and central and Eastern Europe. Bolstered by December's merger with China Shipping Group , COSCO's focus on Greece is about building market share at a time of anguish in a bruised and oversupplied shipping sector, industry sources said.

05 Feb 2016

Dumpers 2015 - Examples of Particularly Bad Practices

Photo:  NGO Shipbreaking Platform

The worst dumper prize goes to IDAN OFER, son of shipping magnate Sammy Ofer. Idan Ofer owns QUANTUM PACIFIC GROUP and has a controlling stake in Israel’s largest publicly traded company, ISRAEL CORPORATION. Combined, these shipping companies sold the highest number of vessels for substandard breaking operations in 2015: nine in total, with six of them going to Bangladesh, where conditions are known to be worst. GREEK SHIP OWNERS sold the most ships to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2015, with 87 ships in total.

21 Jan 2016

Greek Shipers Disagree with EC on Tax Issues

The European Commission recently published Decision (C(2015)9019 final / 18-12-2015) alleging that some provisions of the Greek shipping taxation regime are in breach of EU state aid provisions and, in particular, the conditions set out in the current Community Guidelines on State Aid to Maritime Transport (SAG). In response, the Union of Greek Shipowners issued a statement expressing its disagreement with the decision. “As the official representative of the Greek shipping sector, the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) has the duty to point out that there is no effective distortion of competition in the maritime field in the EU and that any fundamental changes to the institutional and fiscal framework in which the Greek shipping community is presently operating…

22 Oct 2015

Greek Dock Workers Walk Out Over Privatisation

Greek dock workers walked out on Thursday in protest at the planned privatisations of the country's two biggest ports, a condition of a multi-billion euro bailout from international lenders. Setting a date to submit binding bids for Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports is one of the actions that Athens needs to conclude its first bailout review and unlock more funds for its 86 billion euro bailout. Shipping ministry officials said the industrial action did not appear to be disrupting traffic at the ports. A statement from the dock workers' labour union vowed to avert privatisations and accused the government of attempting to sell out to "foreign owned monopolies". "Ports should be developed by utilizing own capital, through credit facilities and tapping European Union funds," it said.

07 Oct 2015

Port of Piraeus Privatisation Delayed

Image: Piraeus Port Authority S.A

The Greek government plans to delay the privatization process for its largest Port, Piraeus, by a few weeks due to delays caused by the September 20 election to the works of the ministries involved in the procedure, reports Reuters. The successful investor was previously expected to be announced by the end of September or in early October. “We will fall behind by about 20 days because the concession agreement that the shipping and finance ministries have to sign is causing a short delay,” an official said.

03 Sep 2015

Greece Wants EU Funding to Tackle Migrant Influx

Greece will ask the European Union for about 700 million euros to build infrastructure to shelter the hundreds of refugees and migrants arriving on its shores daily, the government said on Thursday. The cash-strapped country has seen a rise in the number of refugees and migrants -- mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan -- arriving by sea from nearby Turkey. Aid agencies estimate about 2,000 people cross over to Greek islands including Kos, Lesbos, Samos and Chios every day. The interim government said it planned to set up a new operations centre and take steps to improve conditions at existing refugee centers. Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said the country will seek EU funds earmarked to address the crisis.

29 Mar 2015

Greece Will Sell Piraeus Port Stake in Weeks

Port of Piraeus

The Greek government will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, the country's deputy prime minister told China's official Xinhua news agency, a flip-flop from the leftist government as it seeks funds from its creditors. The Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took power in January on promises to end painful austerity, saying it would halt a string of privatisations including the sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP). China's Cosco…

15 May 2015

Greece Okays Piraeus Port Sale

Image: Piraeus Port Authority SA

Greece Economy Minister George Stathakis said that his government is dropping its opposition to selling off the Piraeus Port Authority SA. A sale of the Piraeus Port would be a reversal on the part of Greece’s Syriza party-led government, which had earlier pledged to block such moves. The country's leftist government had ruled out any privatization plans when it came into power but it later started pondering the revision of the sale terms and now has have given the green light for the sale of a majority stake in Piraeus port .

19 May 2015

ICTSI Shows Interest in Greece's Port

ICTSI port management company currently involved in the operations and development of marine terminals and port projects worldwide. Map by ICTSI

Philippines head quartered International Container Terminal Services Inc. has expressed interest in a majority stake in Piraeus port in Greece, says a report in AFP. “Yes. We are now reviewing this opportunity,” ICTSI vice president and treasurer Rafael Consing Jr. said in a text message. Greece unblocked the sale of a 51 per cent stake in Piraeus port and has invited three short listed investors to submit binding bids by September. Chinese conglomerate COSCO and the Dutch company…

10 Jul 2015

Greece Hikes Shipping Tax

Image by Polish Embassy in Athens

Greece has submitted a fresh proposal which includes hiking shipping taxes and to gradually remove the industry's special tax status to the EU in a bid to secure a 53.5 billion euro ($59bn) rescue package to help cover its debts until 2018 and stave off bankruptcy. According to reports among the tax proposals is increased tax on shipping companies, which currently enjoy preferential treatment under the Greek constitution. No details of what the higher taxes would be were available.

12 Aug 2015

Greece Sends Cruise Ship, Extra Police to Help with Migrant Crisis

Greece bolstered security at a holiday island struggling to cope with an influx of refugees on Wednesday, a day after frustrated migrants scuffled with police, and pledged to ease the plight of the hundreds arriving daily on its shores. Greek Minister of State Alekos Flabouraris said a ship with a capacity for at least 2,500 people would be dispatched to the island of Kos, which has seen a spike in refugees in recent weeks. The cruise liner would be converted into a reception centre to process arrivals and would dock in the main port of the island, the minister said. Two riot police units were dispatched to Kos from Athens and police reinforcements from nearby islands were also drafted in, police sources said.

16 Aug 2015

Migrants brawl on Greek island as refugee ship lies empty

Eleftherios Venizelos

Migrants desperate to get off the Greek island of Kos fought each other on Saturday while nearby a passenger ship chartered to house and process refugees lay empty 24 hours after it had arrived. Outside the island's main police station, about 50 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran threw stones and exchanged blows as tempers boiled over in the intense mid-summer heat. Riot police stood by without intervening. The migrants have little chance of getting aboard the ship, the Eleftherios Venizelos…

19 Aug 2015

Refugee Ship Headed for Greek Mainland

Authorities struggling to cope with arrivals; 21,000 people landed on Greek shores last week. A passenger ship that is housing Syrian refugees set sail from the Greek island of Kos on Wednesday, heading for the mainland as authorities struggle to cope with a wave of arrivals. The ship, which has acted as a floating accommodation and registration centre since Sunday, was heading for the northern port of Thessaloniki, Greece's second biggest city, where it was expected to arrive on Thursday morning. It will stop at the islands of Leros, Kalymnos and Lesbos to collect more migrants, the coast guard's office said. But confusion reigned over where they will be accommodated after arriving at the port, or whether they would disembark at all.

20 Aug 2015

Syrian Refugee Arrives on Greek Mainland

Syrians want to get to northern Europe. A car ferry carrying just over 2,400 Syrian refugees arrived on the Greek mainland on Thursday as a wave of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty continued unabated, straining a country which is already in economic crisis. Many of the Syrians made 'V' for victory signs as they disembarked in the port city of Piraeus from the ship, chartered by the Greek government to ease conditions on islands in the eastern Aegean, where migrants are arriving on inflatable dinghies and small boats from nearby Turkey. Greece has been found largely unprepared to deal with the migrant crisis in recent weeks, prompting criticism from aid agencies. Arrivals in July totalled 50,000, far outstripping the figure for the whole of 2014.

22 Aug 2015

Greece Moves Refugees to Mainland, Crush Builds on Border

Greece Refugees Photo Information Resource Center Athens

Greece ferried hundreds of refugees to its mainland on Friday to relieve the pressure on outlying islands that have been overwhelmed by thousands of people arriving by boat to flee Syria's civil war. At the same time, crowds of migrants massed on the Greek border with Macedonia, preparing to travel north across a continent that is struggling to cope with the influx of desperate people escaping from conflict and poverty. Just under 2,200 refugees arrived at the port city of Piraeus on Friday night on a car ferry chartered by the Greek government.

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