Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime
An Australian with over 40 years experience as a journalist and foreign corrrespondent specialising in political and economic issues, David has lived in Greece for over 30 years and was editor of English language publications for Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini in the 1970s before moving into the Akti Miaouli and reporting on Greek and international shipping.
Managing editor of Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Review and Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence, David has been Greek editor for Seatrade for over 25 years.
Last year was one of contrasts for the ship finance sector as the once dominating German ship finance market continued to contract with few banks remaining committed to shipping, while the competition from Chinese leasing continued to rise when it came to financing the key Greek shipping market.
Greek shipowners have applauded the adoption by the IMO MSC 101 of a specific action plan to deal with critical safety issues and liability implications associated with the 0.5% sulphur marine fuels. However, the Union of the Greek Shipowners (UGS) calls on all industry stakeholders to take action to ensure safe fuel is available.
The shortsea shipping industry is being left behind in the effort to adjust to new global environmental regulations despite it being the maritime domain that needs clean fuel the most. Still, the positive impact of these regulations is the subject of some dispute.
With a total asset value of some $105bn bank financing to Greek shipping continues to contract, but at a slower rate.
Cyprus will step up efforts to remove 'illegal' restrictions on its ships calling at Turkish ports. That was the message of Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades at the 30th annual general meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, held on 30 May, at the Four Seasons hotel, in Limassol.
The snap elections announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for 30 June or 7 July, after his government’s sound defeat in the European Parliament elections, on 26 May, have major repercussions on various pending privatisation projects.
The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) has said though a disproportionate share of responsibility is still placed on shipowners, the IMO made "significant progress in terms of addressing a number of important and unforeseen problems with regard to the global 0.5% sulphur cap regime only months before the commencement of its implementation and enforcement".
Cyprus' coffers gained $1.14bn (EUR1.04bn) in 2018 from the ship management sector after a strong second half of the year. In the July - December half second half the revenue from the sector was $591m up from the $556m registered in the first six months.
Ahead of the critical IMO Marine Environment and Protection Committee 74 (MEPC 74) meeting in London next week, the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) urges IMO members and all stakeholders to "face up to their responsibilities” and reach “workable and sustainable solutions”.
Greece is a bridge and not a border between the West and the East and as a regional hub for growth that is gaining global influence and significance, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing 26 April.