A clip from a feature-length documentary is sending shockwaves throughout the Greek shipping industry and beyond, after a prominent shipowner made disparaging comments about the industry’s lack of reliance on the Greek government.
During the remarks in the interview with European Investigative Collaborations, Panos Laskaridis, a well-known shipowner, said, amongst other things, that the Greek shipping industry doesn’t need the government, the Greek Shipping Ministry, nor the prime minister.
“People who are in shipping don’t need the Greek government, don’t need the ministry, don’t need the prime minister… they can shit on the prime minister. They have no need of the prime minister.”
Laskarides’ comments were shared with Ioannis Plakiotakis, the Greek Shipping Minister, who appears caught off guard when presented the Laskaridis interview.
The clip was part of a bigger, feature length documentary by EIC called “Black Trail” which presents a damning exposé on the environmental impact of the shipping industry.
The documentary brings together journalists from newsrooms and TV networks across Europe, including Expresso and SIC TV (Portugal), The Black Sea (Eastern Europe), Reporters United (Greece), VG (Norway) and RTS (Switzerland), with research and reporting support from Financed Uncovered (UK).
The cross-border team focuses on how the shipping industry has “captured” the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that has, since 1948, been the only body charged with regulating the emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants produced by ships.
Although the shipping industry insists that it carries 90% of global freight yet is responsible for less than three percent of carbon dioxide emissions, the investigation exposes a darker — and deadlier — reality.
It shows how the sector has dodged the climate debate as it continues to burn the dirtiest of all transport fuels. Ship emissions are responsible for more than 50,000 deaths a year in Europe as particles like black carbon drive up cancer rates in Mediterranean port cities.
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