Veniamis returns on issue of Ministry of Shipping.
The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) appears to be climaxing its campaign to reinstate the recently abolished Ministry of Shipping, which was split apart, with most of the former structure now under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping, while other parts of it were ?shipped? off towards the Ministries of Protection of the Citizen (Coast Guard) and of Infrastructure and Transport (Island transportation and ports). During his meeting with Mr. Antonis Samaras, the recently elected leader of the opposition party, which lost the elections of the past October, Mr. Veniamis said that ?to begin with, we had a usual meeting with the President of New Democracy, the first after his election at this place and at the same time, we had the opportunity to brief him on the issues of the Ministry of Shipping and those of the UGS. Of course, we also talked about the very important issue, regarding the disfunctioning of the Ministry of Shipping, after its
This new framework of operations apparently came as a shock for the shipping community and not only ship owners. But it wasn"t unification with the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness?.
These remarks came shortly after Mr. Veniamis" first official comments on the matter of the Ministry, in the recently held annual meeting of the UGS. There he also expressed his opposition to the move, by saying that ?2009 reserved for us a very unpleasant surprise, with the abolition of the Ministry of Mercantile without any previous notice. The Ministry was an important contribution to the industry, having created strong sentimental bonds with the people of the broaded maritime and shipping community, while also becoming a symbol of nation power in terms of sea works. So, besides the practical importance of its autonomous presence, there is also the psychological one. And we all know to what extent, this factor affects the bonds between shipping and country? said Mr. Veniamis. He also said that the dialogue to resolve this issue will soon yield results.
After the meeting, Mr. Yannis Plakiotakis, responsible for the opposition"s sector of Maritime Policies, commented that the recent abolition of the Ministry of Shippping has led the country"s maritime industry to a state of demise. As a result of these remarks, the ruling party issued an announcement, justifying its decision. It said that through its unification with the Ministry of Economy, the shipping industry is now at the epicentre of the country"s economy, a move directly aligned with what"s the current trend in Europe and worldwide, the announcement read. In any case, as it seems, the government isn"t thinking about reinstating the Ministry of Shipping as an autonomous entity within the state.