Brexit could see Greek owners head back to the UK capital, the head of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) suggested at a press conference at the end of the Posidonia exhibition in Athens on Friday.
Theodore Veniamis, president of UGS, has had a long running campaign to ease regulations from the EU. He used the traditional final day owners’ press conference at Posidonia to make the threat that many of his peers could choose to move outside the EU unless rule changes come from Brussels.
“I will repeat that, in order to continue our successful course, we must remain competitive,” Veniamis said. “The term competitiveness is the key to the survival of every shipping industry and must be a common goal of the industry and the state as well as of the European Union as our shipping is an integral and strategic part of it.”
Veniamis then went further saying that owners could relocate outside the EU soon over a long simmering tax dispute, adding: Brexit, for us, is not a bad thing.”
The owners boss added: “If Brexit happens … we, shipping, have a very good alternative option if something goes awry in the European Union.”
UK authorities were in strong numbers at Posidonia last week trying to woo Greeks to London, a city that has a long history of being a second home to Greek shipping.
A survey commissioned by the UGS last year found 56% of Greek owners are considering relocating.