The President of the Cyprus Shipowners’ Union Andreas Hadjiyiannis on Sunday announced the financial aid amounting to €50 million for the victims of floods and fires in Greece.

Hadjiyiannis expressed the deep sorrow of the maritime community for the human losses and damage caused by the devastating floods, in a written statement by the Cyprus Shipowners’ Union.

He added that the financial assistance is aimed at alleviating the suffering of the affected individuals.

The Shipowners’ union president has recently met the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou at a dinner where they discussed among others, the advancements required in the maritime industry as well as the challenges the industry in Cyprus is facing.

President, Nikos Christodoulides also attended the event.

There is an alarming trend of adverse deviations in the genetic makeup of modern shipping, Hadjiyiannis noted at the dinner hosted by the Cyprus Shipowners’ Union on Friday in Kifisia, Athens.

He highlighted the European shipping model, with Greek shipping at its core is facing significant challenges.

“The European fleet is shrinking. Out of the 10 ships sold, only 3 are bought by Europeans. Major Western banks, already sensing the decline in European shipping’s competitiveness, are withdrawing their funding. Start-up shipping companies in Europe are on the brink of extinction. The national shipping industry, with its 1000 companies, has already dwindled to less than 600 and has lost its top position, held since the 1950s,” Hadjiyiannis remarked.

He pointed out unfriendly approaches and EU policies regarding the unfavourable taxation of shipping, primarily based on negligible emissions trading related to greenhouse gases.

According to EU and UN studies, he said, “the environmental impact of shipping could be fully compensated if every individual replaced animal-based protein with plant-based protein just once every three months.”

He added that the EU imposes an elimination method, with an estimated cost to the shipping industry ranging from 2.5 to, as he reiterated, 3.5 trillion dollars over approximately twenty-five years.

During the General Assembly, the challenges facing Cypriot shipping were discussed, with the participation of Greek shipowners and Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis.

Hadjiyiannis and Vice President Polys Hadjiioannou discussed the practical difficulties arising from European decisions and environmental regulations imposed by the ETS, as well as the tax burden on ship ownership due to the decision to horizontally tax emissions in shipping.

For her part, Hadjimanolis elaborated on the strategic actions planned to strengthen the Cypriot registry, which had been weakened due to the Russia-Ukraine war and sanctions. She assured strong commitment from the Christodoulides government to further sustainable development of Cypriot Shipping.