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Queries in English for our non-Greek speaking members.

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The answer to the first part of your question is that the company decided to withdraw from service these vessels due to their age and various technical reasons (doesn't make economical sense to keep them in their fleet). Their decision is either they will sell them or they will scrap them.. 

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Any news about Theofilos? Is she going back into service or headed for the breakers yards?

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Nothing new about her. The vessel is now under the flag of Togo. One potential guess is that she could be scrapped. But that's just a guess

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Thank you

Edited by proud_ionian
quote αντί reply

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Does anybody know if Highspeed4 will be in service this summer? Looks there is no route submitted or discussed in the Σ.Α.Σ. meetings.

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On 12/24/2019 at 4:13 PM, Panagia Ekatontapiliani said:

Θα ταξιδεψει στην ίδια γραμμή με φέτος, εάν δεν βρεθεί κάποιος ανταγωνιστής να δηλώσει την ίδια γραμμή (Πειραιά Πάρο Νάξο Κουφονήσι) 

She will operate in Pireas Paros Naxos Koufonisi route, as in 2019, unless a competitor applies for the route (Competition Committee has imposed restrictions to Attica Group, in the HSW - Attica deal approval )

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Thank you very much.

Something else. I have been reading a lot the last couple of days about the dispute with the Ministery about the approval for the routes of Golden Star Ferries and also the route of the THUNDER from Fast Ferries.

Reading some of the reactions and comments from the companies it looks to be like a soapseries.

Is there already a final decision on these routes?

Edited by Nicksy58
joining something

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Soap series, right you are. The difference between proper soap series and what you see in this case, is that soap series can be interesting, ours are rather dull.

 

The gist of it is that there is a council of coastal ferry service through which all the applications are examined. Normally the Minister then ratifies their recommendations, not in this case though. The recommendations of the council were partially ratified. In the case of Fast Ferries the Minister did not approve the Mykonos call while he added calls at Anafi and Thirassia. In the case of Golden Star the Minister approved a Paros call instead of a Naxos one plus there are some complaints about their morning sailings out of Rafina. These are the same group of people who in the past have approved sailings for Seajets against ships who are permanently laid up and everyone knew they could never actually fulfill them.

 

Obviously the legal framework here is such that there's no clear criterion, process and procedure as to what constitutes an acceptable application. And that deliberate vagueness obviously equips the Minister and his cronies with the ability to deal the cards of the game as their personal and political interests dictate. And that's a taste of Greek reality for you. 

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You owe me one Billy, for having me listen to 20 minutes of him :D.

 

In principle the(monologue) of Marios Iliopoulos had to do with the specifics of the complaints that Golden Star and Fast Ferries are expressing about the incomplete approval of their routeing/scheduling programme by the Minister. On one hand he is defending Seajets on the Anafi issue, claiming that last year they did not let the island down as claimed by removing the Aqua Jewel from service because "she had to do her annual survey", regardless if she ended up in the Azores. On the other hand he is defending the decisions of the Minister basically, claiming in essence that both above mentioned companies are breaking the law(for procedural reasons) and also that should their plans be approved, they would be creating havoc in the -jokes of- ports concerned. Finally he went on to remind the audience of all the nice things Seajets does for the islands, claiming that for them the Aegean ferry service is not a business, but rather a passion. A very profitable passion from the looks of it, I ought to add. 

 

All in all, his speech was a case-specific one, there was no strategic discussion involved and he did not disclose anything we did not know already. A pity if you ask me, for the journalist who took the interview. When you have a guy like that on line, you should be probing into other higher level stuff as well. What I did find entertaining is that at the beginning of the interview he makes a point of clarifying he is not the owner but rather the "director of strategic planning" of Seajets. But of course when he lets himself go during the interview, the tone and the ownership of the way he speaks, leave no doubt about who owns the pocket the money goes in, at the end of the day. The usual hide and seek game, behind legal entities and business titles. 

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Well, Iliopoulos has a very doubtfull history and profile to say the least. Remember the stories about the hijacking of the BRILLANTE VIRTUOSO in 2011, the fire on the ELLI in 2009 and the sinking of the IRON ANTONIS in 1994.

It was also Iliopoulos that tried last year to get the route(s) of the Superspeed and Supercat from Golden Star refused.  Leaving Anafi to its own for some time last year with putting the Aqua Jewel on a charter in the Azores was absolutely not one of the nice things he does for the islands as he claims. It's already 2 years he is promising more connections for Syros but they are still waiting for them. In fact it's becoming countless the number of promises he has made over a number of years. Promises from which none have been fulfilled.

I am a (very) regular user of Greek ferry's but the one company I always try to avoid is Seajets. And as a friend in Ios told me last year:"I wouldn't even trust Seajets to deliver my post."

Strange is that some object to the morning sailing times from Rafina from Golden Star. Their request on the Rafina to Naxos route was precisely to avoid congestion in Rafina in the morning as they planned to sail from Naxos or Paros in the morning and in the afternoon from Rafina.

Trough his actions of the last couple of years it is clear that Illiopoulos wants to create a monopoly for Seajets and apparently he gets (some) backing now from the ND politicians/minister.

Edited by proud_ionian
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Since your above message, the Minister has positively rejected the requests from both Golden Star and Fast Ferries. Especially for Fast Ferries this is a disaster, without Mykonos the Thunder is most probably doomed. Seajets have had their way over the last decade, if not more. That's not to say though that all the other players are the ferry shipping equivalent of Mother Theresa.

 

The real and high level issue is that the way the regulations work, it comes down to the Minister and his entourage to call the shots. And guess what, they call them for the benefit of their own personal and political agendas. Unless there is a legislative and procedural change which will set out clear rules for the submission, examination and (dis)approval of everyone's requests, without the decision coming down to one man's autocratic perception, we will always be spectators the same theatre play. With different actors every now and then.

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The rejections show clearly who's side he is on. Or from who he thinks he's will get the most benefits. Both personal and/or political.

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Finally the conclusion of this fight between the 3 parties (Minister-Marios-Stefanou/Panagiotakis) is what we say over 2 years now about the legal concept of the routing approvals in Greece. 

If we want to be proud of our islands, our tourism and the millions of visitors choosing Greek islands for their vacation, we should support better the procedures. 

Either with creating the routes and calling the shipowners to undertake them or to make a stricter procedure for assignment of routes.

It's a shame that in Greece we cannot have the maximum profits from our national product called tourism and we are trying to individually collect all profits. As correctly said Nick, soap series are more interesting. 

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3 hours ago, Nikos_Chania said:

Either with creating the routes and calling the shipowners to undertake them or to make a stricter procedure for assignment of routes.

It's a shame that in Greece we cannot have the maximum profits from our national product called tourism and we are trying to individually collect all profits.

The whole system of procedures with the assignment of routes is wrong due to the immense bureaucracy. Besides the subsidised routes, go to a liberal market for the other routes and leave it to the companies to decide what routes they will do. Yes, in the beginning there will be routes with a congestion. In the end however the good and reliable companies will survive. But I fear it's something that the government never will allow. Because now they have power over the companies (and probably more) and that is something that politicians never will accept to lose.

And timetables should be available much earlier and not at the end of March (or even later). They should be there when people are starting to plan their holidays and that is much earlier. The ferry companies should take an example from the airlines where you get the timetable for the next summer already in October.

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