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Greece’s Passenger Shipping Sector Requests Covid-19 Aid

The Greek Shipowners Association for Passenger Ships (SEEN) is calling on the government to take immediate measures to support the sector, which is expected to post over 300 million euros in losses this year due to the repercussions of Covid-19.

In a letter to Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis, SEEN is requesting among others that the ministry determine the required itineraries until May 31, 2021 based on those implemented in 2020 and to proceed with public service contracts for their execution; to set out leasing sums based on real expenses; and to extend subsidies for employers’ contributions of sea and land personnel until May 31, 2021.

SEEN is also calling for a 50 percent reduction in port costs, reduced VAT rates on ferry tickets, the application of winter crew compositions, the ability to suspend sailors’ employment contracts until May 31, 2021, and extending to 24 months the period for tax and insurance obligation payments.

For Adriatic routes, SEEN is demanding that itineraries be subsidized to cover operating costs and to allow for the further suspension of seafarers’ employment contracts until May 31, 2021.

Looking ahead, SEEN does not appear to be optimistic citing the large number of Covid-19 cases internationally as well as the uncertainty surrounding free movement with regard to domestic travel.

In numbers, SEEN said the transport load for 2020 is expected to decline by 55 percent or 10,300,000 passengers compared to 2019, with the number of vehicles down by 35 percent or 670,000 cars, and the number of trucks down by 20 percent or 100,000.

The number of passengers on Adriatic lines, meanwhile, are set to drop by 70 percent or 400,000, with the number of cars down by 60 percent or 100,000 and trucks by 8 percent or 13,000.

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