Investment in seafarers will drive economic growth says Greek shipping minister

Strengthening the expertise of seafarers and the Greek shipping industry as a whole will aid economic growth in Greece, Theodoros Dritsas, Greece’s new minister of Shipping & Island Policy, said today in recognition of World Maritime Day.

“The aim for all must be the preservation of traditional maritime values ​​and the expertise of our seafarers in order that shipping remains one of the country’s most important growth drivers and the driving force to exit the current difficult economic conditions,” Dritsas said in a statement.

“It is our duty to take all action to remain pioneers in shipping and ensure that maritime training be upgraded constantly, so capable and qualified employees ensure the leading position held by Greek shipping in the global shipping industry.”

The key to this is continued investment in maritime education and training, even in difficult economic conditions, the minister said.

Providing a relevant and up-to-date naval education that complies with European and international standards is Greece’s “top goal”, Dritsas continued, “given that, in recent years in our country there has been a strong shift of young people into the maritime profession and the need for more and better trained seafarers has increased worldwide”.

Previous to Sunday’s parliamentary election in Greece, Dritsas was alternate minister of Shipping and the Aegean, part of the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism, led by Giorgos Stathakis.

The ‘super-ministry’ was recently reorganised to separate commercial shipping activity into the standalone Ministry of Shipping & Island Policy, of which Dritsas is head; and the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure and Tourism, which is still led by Stathakis.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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