On March 15, 2022, SEEN (Association of Passenger Shipping Companies) met with the Hellenic Minister of Shipping and Island Policy and informed him about the forthcoming serious impact of the energy crisis that has already affected the Hellenic Coastal Shipping, threatening tourism as well as the islanders’ cost of living.
More specifically, SEEN urged for support measures by the government for the summer season, otherwise, there will be an increase in ferry ticket prices up to 25% (for passengers and vehicles).
At the same time, they are examining solutions such as speed reduction, unified sailings as well as reduction of the sailings’ frequency (ANEK-Blue Star Ferries announced recently such a reduction on the Piraeus – Chania line for the next four Saturdays, 19 March – 9 April 2022).
Furthermore, SEEN underlined that the additional operating costs due to expensive fuels exceed EUR 280 million on an annual basis, while they made seven proposals to the Minister in order to deal with the current situation.
- Imposition of a “ceiling” on marine fuel prices based on the average price of last December
- Temporary reduction of VAT to 6% and its return to 13% when fuel prices fall to last December’s level
- Enhancement of liquidity with the immediate payment of more than EUR 42 million owed by the state to the ferry companies for subsidized lines which have already been done
- Subsidizing employers’ contributions as was the case during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak
- Announcement of additional public service lines as happened during the pandemic
- Increase at least by 30% of subsidies for the existing one-year duration barren lines
- Temporary suspension of mandatory discounts