According to Posidonia Exhibitions SA, Greek ship-owners set a new record of orders to shipbuilding companies in 2013. The number of orders made by Greek ship-owners is estimated at 25 percent of the global order book.
In fact, last year Greek ship-owners cashed 13 billion dollars to purchase 275 newly constructed vessels of more than 24.5m deadweight tonnage.
According to the global order book, the Greek ship-owners are the biggest investors for 2013 as they invested approximately 4.5 billion dollars in this sector.
A steady source of funds for the expanding Greek fleet is the stock exchange market, primarily of New York.
Since the Greek ship-owners have the largest independent fleet in the world, Greece’s government decided to make their contribution to the country’s finances obligatory. Until now, Greek ship-owners were not obliged to contribute in any way to the country’s finances as they had agreed with Greek Minister of Finance to do so voluntarily.
In particular, the Greek ship-owners will have to pay a tripled tonnage tax in order to help Greece’s economy recover. The Greek ship-owners have already expressed their frustration towards this new measure taken by the Greek government. The President of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), Mr. Theodoros Veniamis claimed that this new measure is unconstitutional. He added that the problem is not the amount of money that many of the ship-owners will have to pay, but the fact that the Greek government violated its agreement with the Greek-shipping community.
The Greek-shipping community has made it crystal clear that it is willing to give the Greek government some time to reconsider this measure. However, if nothing changes, the Greek ship-owners threatened that their fleets will no longer sail under Greece’s flag or that their companies will be moved abroad.