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Ferry Link Launches Between Cyprus And Greece

Ferry Link Launches Between Cyprus And Greece

The umbilical bond that connected Cyprus with Greece through shipping is re-established in a more efficient way, giving people the opportunity for a pleasant vacation, commented President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday, at the ceremony for the launch of the ferry link between the ports of Limassol and Piraeus.

The ceremony took place at the Limassol Port, to mark the relaunch of the ferry link between the two countries, 21 years after it was interrupted, on the occasion of the first trip of the M/V Daleela, the vessel that will be running the service, until mid-September.

“Most importantly,” Anastasiades notes, “the opportunity is finally given to many citizens who wanted it so much, either because of fear of flying or because they wanted to transport motor vehicles and were unable to do so, to have an even more pleasant vacation.”

He said that, after 20 years, it has become possible to reconnect Cyprus with Greece due to the persistent efforts of the Government, after suggestions also of MPs, the systematic work carried out by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping, both the former Deputy Minister, Natasa Pilides, and her successor, Vassilios Demetriades, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and Government departments in general.

He said that the Government was aware that this move would not be profitable and that is why there should be state assistance, hence the efforts made at EU level to receive permission for the necessary subsidy.

He recalled that, as a result of these efforts, since the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping, “in addition to remaining at third place in terms of Europe's largest merchant fleet, we are 11th in the world, but most importantly, we are the first country in ship management.”

President Anastasiades also said that shipping companies that are part of the Tonnage Tax System have almost tripled in the last decade, from 97 registered in 2012, to 275 in 2022.

“We are talking about important sectors of the economy that employ 11,000 employees on land and 55,000 at sea,” he said, adding that new perspectives have been opened in terms of new professional directions, that contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Deputy Minister of Shipping, Vassilios Demetriades, said this was “an important and blessed day” for shipping, and Cypriot shipping in general. In his own speech, Demetriades said, among other things, that the ferry connection between Limassol and Piraeus is one of the 35 sustainable actions of the strategic vision of his Deputy Ministry. "Since the day we have drawn up our strategic plan, more than 60% of these actions have been implemented or are in the process of implementation," he said.

For his part, the Mayor of Limassol, Nicos Nicolaides referred to “an historic day”, which, he said, will add to the great momentum that has begun in the city in recent years to upgrade cruises, “making Limassol an important regional maritime transport hub.”

The ceremony was also attended by Speaker of Parliament, Anita Demetriou, Minister of Energy, Natasa Pilides, Minister of Transport Yiannis Karousos, Greece’s Ambassador to Cyprus, Ioannis Papameletiou, MPs, party representatives and others.

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