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Hadjimanolis and Stylianides discuss boosting maritime cooperation

The competitiveness of European shipping, the shortage of seafarers, the digitalisation of services and the maritime passenger connection between Cyprus and Greece were examined during a meeting between the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Marina Hadjimanolis with the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece, Christos Stylianides.

More practical cooperation was decided on to address the challenges in shipping.

Speaking after the 21 May meeting in Limassol, Hadjimanolis said that it had been productive, noting that "shipping is an important pillar of economic growth, both for Greece and Cyprus."

She added that cooperation could not have been less than excellent, at all levels, for two maritime nations with tradition, linked by centuries-old historical ties based on common values and principles.

Hadjimanolis stressed that, as two member countries of the EU and the Council of the International Maritime Organisation, "coordination and synergies are essential elements in the effort to safeguard the sustainability of global shipping and, by extension, the sustainability of our countries' shipping."

In addition, she continued, with the establishment of the Supreme Council of Greece and Cyprus, this cooperation was part of a structured dialogue and in this context, "today we discussed issues of common interest, with the aim of promoting joint actions and initiatives."

The Deputy Minister also said that next month Cyprus will participate in Greece's major shipping exhibition "Poseidonia 2024", and thanked her counterpart "for the excellent cooperation they have."

On his part, Stylianides, said that the meeting not only confirmed the national ties between Greece and Cyprus and that the two countries remain pillars of European shipping, but also "opened up ways of further cooperation and even more practical."

Their exchange of views, he continued, focused on three points, the first being the competitiveness of European shipping, the major problem of the international shipping community in the future which is the lack of seafarers, noting that "we will do everything possible to create new incentives, to increase again the prestige of the navy". The third, he added, is how to move to the absolute digitalization and simplification of the procedures of the registry of the two Ministries", noting that "in Greece we have fallen behind."

Asked whether the Greek government could support the sustainability of the maritime passenger connection between the two countries, he recalled the difficulties in overcoming the issues raised by the European Commission.

"In my opinion, it should remain as the main Cypriot issue, the Cypriot government should support it as it does, because then we will enter into other adventures, while the viability of the project will be seen after the completion of the first cycle," he said and called on Greeks and Cypriots to continue using the service.

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