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Cyprus shipowners call for EU measure to boost competitiveness

Photo: EU/Mauro Bottaro EU flags fluttering in the wind
Cyprus Union of Shipowners (CUS) President Andreas Hadjiyiannis recently highlighted challenges faced by Greek shippers and called for European measures that will help boost the sector’s competitiveness.

Speaking at an event organised in Athens by CUS Hadjiyiannis said: “This development is not a consequence of failed manipulations by shipping officials. It is a product of the short-sighted, bordering on objectively unfriendly, policy of the EU against its shipping,”

According to data presented, the European fleet is shrinking with only three out of 10 ships for sale being bought by Europeans, while the Greek fleet recently lost its top position to China in gross tonne terms. 

“An example is the unfavourable taxation of shipping with billions under the pretext of trading pollutants for the emission of relatively negligible greenhouse gases. For this footprint the EU imposes a method of eradication, the cost of which to shipping, over a horizon of about 25 years, amounts to $2.5-$3.5 trillion, according to studies,” said the head of the shipping group.

While he emphatically agrees with the EU having a pro-environmental goal, he said “we have counter-proposed reasonable and effective solutions” to EU proposals that are undermining one of its main pillars due to a wrong approach.

“It (EU) treats its shipping in a way that leads to it becoming less competitive. In contrast to its competitors, the EU, in addition to the lack of ‘European conscience’ in its transport, does not effectively protect its shipping when it is affected and needs its intervention,” he said.