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Stylianidis: A period of challenges and upheavals for global shipping – Greece’s decisive role

(Φωτ. Papadakis Press)

The Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Christos Stylianidis opened the proceedings of the 8th Naftemporiki Conference entitled “The critical decisions”, presenting the important challenges facing global shipping as well as Greece’s leading role.

“We are indeed at a critical crossroads and important decisions will have to be made…Global shipping, everyone admits, is going through a period full of challenges and upheavals. The unstable international economic environment, the major geopolitical developments, could not leave maritime transport unaffected,” Stylianidis noted.

Greece’s leading role in the protection of navigation

In the Red Sea – a sea route of major importance – the attacks by the Houthis, he said, are not only affecting inflation, but are causing a lot of concern about the future. “This is an unacceptable instrumentalization of maritime transport for political purposes, which we have denounced,” he stressed.

“Under these conditions we assumed a leading role in Aspides. We are a nation dedicated to shipping and we wanted to protect the sector. In addition to being a moral obligation of a global naval power like Greece, it confirms the country’s upgraded geopolitical role as a pole of stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the minister added.

Green transition based on realism

In recent years we have all been talking about decarbonization, innovative technologies, new fuels, carbon pricing, IMO decisions. “All these require critical decisions,” Stylianidis stressed, adding that the Greek government shared from the beginning the need to achieve neutrality by 2050.

“It is a debt to future generations. We want to give them a planet that is sustainable. We have to deliver this planet at least as a sustainable planet,” he said.

The minister noted that “we are working on measures within the framework of the IMO and the EU – often playing the role of a ‘bridge’ – with the aim of shipping continuing to contribute to the national and global economy. We have to be radical on this road, but also realistic, we can’t ignore the market.”

The strategy to reduce gas emissions is a milestone, the minister underlined, “because it can ensure that international maritime transport will fairly contribute to the achievement of the common goal of the Paris Agreement.”

“We absolutely need the ethics of Naftemporiki”

Stylianidis referred to Naftemporiki’s 100th anniversary. “This year marks Naftemporiki’s 100-year anniversary since the first release of its newspaper, completing a century of reliable information,” he emphasized, adding that he himself has been following it for 40 years and helped him learn about shipping.

The minister urged Naftemporiki to continue on this path because Greece needs its ethics.