Greek shipowners seem set to extend their voluntary economic cåontribution to the state of some $112m annually, into 2018 through their voluntary payment of increased tonnage tax. The extension of this optional levy will likely top the agenda at an extraordinary general meeting of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) scheduled for June 26.


Indeed, Shipping and Island Policy minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis said earlier this week, “We have had talks with the shipowners and they showed they understand the situation.” This extension constitutes one of the prior actions required by the country’s creditors.

UGS members will also be provided with an update on developments on the informal probe into Greece’s institutional framework on shipping by the European Commission. Kouroumplis said, June 14, a letter has been sent to Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager offering some explanations on the issue and highlighting that all countries, Germany included, apply policies which support their national shipping industry.

In a rare intervention in political matters, in a statement, June 2, UGS president Theodore Veniamis slammed a recent "unwarranted attack on our country" by the German Finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble who accused Prime minister Alexis Tsipras of adopting a soft stance towards the tax regime covering the Greek shipping industry.

Veniamis said: "It seems Mr Schauble has chosen to ignore the particularly favourable regime enjoyed by German shipping, while attacking the regime of Greek shipping, which, also, amounts to 50% of EU shipping, an achievement that seems to cause annoyance."

Filed: 2017-06-14