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Although bank ship finance into Greek shipping continued to contract in 2017, the decline is slowing and by the end of this year more banks will become more willing to lend into the Greek market. This is the conclusion of the annual look at Greek ship finance by Petrofin Bank Research.

Amidst significant challenges both for the shipping industry and for Greece, Posidonia 2018 is set once again to "manifest the resilience, commitment and potential of Greek shipping and Greece”, says Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) president Theodore Veniamis .

A feisty Theodore Veniamis, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, pulled no punches when he told fellow shipowners gathered for the UGS agm, on 3 February, that Greek shipping is under attack from many quarters.

A minimum 478 Greek shipping companies will soon begin paying an additional voluntary tax to the country’s treasury, under an agreement hammered out between the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Athens government some 15 months ago.

Intertanko has criticised the criminal disobedience conviction of Captain Apostolos Mangouras following the 2002 Prestige oil spill, despite his acquittal of criminal damage charges.

Greek shipowners seem generally to be having a “good crisis” despite the prolonged recession. Undoubtedly it has taken a toll, especially among smaller owners who are so important to the Greek shipping cluster, but the market doldrums have brought down remarkable few of the major players

Traditionally, as the August sun gets higher in the sky, the heat goes out of the activity within the Greek shipping community as the players move to the country’s islands, or to the decks of yachts cruising off the islands. This is particularly so these days as technology makes its fairly easy to up shop and really work offshore. This time round though, with the freight market seemingly more stable, Piraeus’ waterfront is not quite as quiet as in the past two or so years.

With much of the world's shipping industry moving into holiday mode July is traditionally a busy month for the shipbuilding sector, as yards and owners in the Far East and much of Europe seek to tie up any loose ends before taking a well-earned break. But week 32 of 2013 will be remembered as an exception, with brokers reporting contracts were signed for 96 vessels of a total 5.532m dwt, an increase in contracting of 540% year-on-year.

Greece may not be the promised land it once was, but it is certainly a land of promises… if July is any yard-stick. However, as the summer sun got hotter a growing number of the promises made during the month, if not melting a way altogether, were under a cloud.

Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has named Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, 44, as new Shipping minister, in a cabinet reshuffle this week. The Athens-born New Democracy MP replaces Kostis Mousouroulis, from the shipowning island of Chios, who is left out of the cabinet altogether.