Greece and shipping are inextricably linked with each other and this is the reason why Greek shipping remains firmly as a leading force in world shipping, Shipping and Island Policy deputy minister, Kostas Katsafados, told the Greek Amver Awards event, December 15.

“In particular, it controls 32% of the world's tanker fleet, 25% of dry bulk carriers and 22% of the LNG fleet,” said Katsafados.

He continued: “According to the latest European Union [EU], Commission report, Greece continues to increase its share of the fleet controlled by the EU while at the same time the Greek-owned fleet is the largest cross-border carrier in the world with more than 98% of cargo transported between third countries. Greek shipowners own 59% of the EU's tonnage. More than a third of the Greek-owned fleet, or 1,706 ships, are flagged by an EU member state, while they continue to invest in newbuilds.

“I am mentioning numbers, but behind the numbers there are people. And the human potential of our shipping industry is the strong asset of our country. That is why I think that systems like Amver, which in the last 22 years has helped to save more than 7,000 lives, show its usefulness. But they also confirm something else: The dynamics of a word that does not exist in other vocabularies. The word ‘filotimo’ [friend of honour]. And the Greek seamen and the companies behind them, whom we honor today, honor ‘filotimo’ by participating with their ships in the efforts to save lives".

Costis Frangoulis, president of the International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Piraeus and vp of the International Propeller Club of the United States, noted the awards event completes 30 years in Greece. Frangoulis said: “As every year, tonight we honour our seafaring heroes who, with self-sacrifice and self-denial, hurry to save lives in the seas of the world, defying all danger. We honour the ships and their management companies.”

Indeed, since the awards scheme’s humble beginnings, during Posidonia in 1992, the increase of Greek recipient companies has gone from 45 to this year’s record of 247.

Mary Olson, deputy chief of mission of US Embassy in Greece, delivered a speech on behalf of US Ambassador George James Tsunis, reiterating the significance of the Amver Awards and emphasised the importance of the Hellenic-American relationship.

“Amver has saved thousands of lives at sea. While it began as a US Coast Guard initiative, the wholehearted embrace from the merchant shipping industry around the world has made the programme a global success.

Filed: 2022-12-20