Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 29 - 2006


Zim diverts activity to Piraeus

---Gal Nissim 20 Jul 06 17:56
Chambers of Commerce director general Yehezkel Daskal: This is the first time that an Israeli company has diverted its ships to foreign ports during an emergency.
Sources inform ''Globes'' that Israeli shipping company Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., controlled by the Ofer family, has relocated part of its activity to the Greek port of Piraeus, due the military situation and fears of overcrowding at Ashdod port.
Daskal also said that he expected that importers would not be charged for freight transport from Piraeus to Haifa and that Zim would incur the unforeseen cost.
In a related development, the Ashdod port authority said it would operate on an emergency 24 hour basis to cope with the extra workload, and would deploy extra manpower.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 20, 2006

As ships divert to Greece Piraeus stevedores plan strike
---Dock workers at Piraeus are planning a series of strikes that could again cripple the Eastern Mediterranean's largest port which has taken 12 months to recover from a month of strike action.
The latest row is over terms of employment for new staff and festers as the port gears up to accept ships which have been forced to switch calls in the wake of the Israel / Lebanese militia hostilities.
Port workers plan a 24-hour stoppage July 25 and have warned they will prolong the action unless the government satisfies their demands. The strike will throw Greek port services into chaos as port workers in Thessaloniki, the country's second largest port, are already engaged in labour action.
July 25, Piraeus will be shut because workers want the government to guarantee that all future hirings will have permanent, not temporary contracts. Piraeus management warns the port would lose out on diverted business from shipping companies due to the conflict. CMA CGM, MSC and Zim are among companies to have switched calls to Piraeus in recent days.
The latest setback comes just weeks after international users of Piraeus expressed satisfaction at the improvements being made to productivity and the reduction in waiting time, though the port is still struggling to recover traffic lost during the 2005 strike by port workers.
Piraeus Port Authority (PPA), md Nicos Anastassopoulos last month said it has taken Piraeus 12 months to recover from the dockers strike in June, 2005, especially in the container terminal.
Movements in the terminal over the first four months of 2006 were down 48,000 on the same four months in 2005, though the port's main client MSC retained its 2005 level in 2006. The PPA md said, some of the companies which were forced to go elsewhere during the strike have "found satisfaction and now have to be re-won".
July 20, some 23 container ships were being delayed in Thessaloniki as stevedores work 'to rule' to re-inforced their demand for a 20% increase in pay rates over the 2006/2007 period.
Source: 21 July 2006 Vol. 7 / No. 28

Greek ferries to see price wars
Hellenic Seaways ( also has 15% off for early booking on the internet, as well as serious discounts on business-class and cabin prices.
In this transition period to full deregulation, the government has set ceiling fares for economy class and vehicles, but cabins and premium-class fares are now unregulated. To keep abreast of the changes, and for bookings, visit or

Call for a more competitive coastal shipping sector
---17 July 2006. Full liberalization across all aspects of coastal shipping is the only way to solve the problems of the sector, argues Alexandros Panagopoulos, vice president and CEO of Attica Group, in an interview with Kathimerini.
The chief of the biggest coastal shipping group in Greece also noted that the rise in oil prices over the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2005 reached 50 percent, bringing an increase in company costs and a rise in fares.
He said the government should harmonize fully the coastal shipping legal framework with the European legislation from 1992, so that complete liberalization is applied to the benefit of passengers and for the creation of a favorable climate for the attraction of the huge funds required for the renewal of the Greek fleet.
He went on to reveal that over 1.5 billion euros are required today for the renewal of the Greek coastal shipping fleet, and that cannot be done straight away.
Stronger than ever
By Anestis Dokas - Kathimerini

Euroseas Ltd. Announces Annual Shareholders' Meeting
---MAROUSSI, ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 18, 2006 -- Euroseas Ltd. (OTCBB: ESEAF), an owner and operator of drybulk and containership vessels and provider of seaborne transportation for drybulk and containerized cargoes, announced today that it will hold its Annual Shareholders' Meeting on August 8, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. local time, at the Cetner House, Petrothalassa, 21300 Kranidi, Argolida, Greece. Shareholders of record on July 7, 2006 are eligible to participate and vote on the meeting's agenda.
At this Annual Meeting, shareholders of the Company will consider and vote (i) to elect three Class A Directors to serve for a term of two years until the 2008 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and to elect two Class B Directors for a term of three years until the 2009 Annual Meeting of Shareholders; (ii) to authorize our Board of Directors to amend our Articles of Incorporation to effect a reverse stock split of all issued and outstanding shares of the Company's common stock by a ratio of not less than one-for-two and not more than one-for-four at any time prior to September 1, 2007, with the exact ratio to be set at a number within this range to be determined by the Board of Directors in its discretion; (iii) to approve the Euroseas Ltd. 2006 Stock Incentive Plan; (iv) to approve the appointment of Deloitte, Hadjipavlou, Sofianos & Cambanis S.A. as the Company's independent auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2006; and (v) to transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting.
Aristides J. Pittas, CEO of Euroseas Ltd., commented: "I am pleased to have this opportunity to report to our shareholders on the operational and financial progress achieved by Euroseas Ltd. for the Company's 2005 fiscal year. 2005 was a pivotal year for Euroseas Ltd. in many respects. In 2005, we completed a private placement in which we raised approximately $21 million. As part of this transaction, we filed a registration statement with the SEC to register the resale of the shares issued in the private placement. On February 3, 2006, the SEC declared the Company's registration statement effective and our shares currently trade on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board ("OTCBB") under the symbol ESEAF.OB.
With part of the proceeds from our private placement, we have renewed our fleet by selling 2 of our older vessels and replacing them with two medium age vessels. Our fleet currently consists of seven vessels: three drybulk carriers, three feeder containerships and one multipurpose vessel. Our strategy is to focus on vessels 10-20 years old at the time of purchase as we believe that in today's economic environment investing in this age class maximizes shareholder returns per dollar invested. We pursue a balanced chartering strategy having fixed 90% of our total capacity days for 2006 and 58% for 2007.
We believe Euroseas Ltd. is well positioned for profitable growth over the long term. We believe that the Company benefits from an experienced management team, highly efficient operations, and excellent relationships with ship operators and charterers, as well as financial institutions. Going forward, we will build on these strengths to capitalize on market opportunities and we will continue working to build Euroseas Ltd. into a larger and stronger global transportation company, while maintaining our long history of profitability for the benefit of our shareholders.
In addition, although our stock currently trades on the OTCBB, we have applied to list our stock on the Nasdaq National Market. After giving effect to the increase in our stock price as a result of the reverse stock split (done solely to satisfy the Nasdaq requirement that the Company's stock trades above $5), the only Nasdaq requirement that we may not satisfy is having at least 400 round-lot shareholders, i.e. shareholders owning more than 100 shares each. While we have not yet satisfied this requirement, we are hopeful that our shareholder base will continue to grow so that we can satisfy this requirement in the near future. We believe that a Nasdaq listing will benefit the Company and its shareholders by increasing the trading liquidity of our stock."
For more information about the proposals to be considered at the Annual Meeting, you may review the Notice of Annual Meeting and accompanying proxy statement which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under Form 6-K. They can be accessed on the SEC's website at or through the Company's website at at the Investor Relations Section, under "SEC Filings."
About Euroseas Ltd.
Euroseas Ltd. was formed on May 5, 2005 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to consolidate the ship owning interests of the Pittas family of Athens, Greece, which has been in the shipping business over the past 135 years. Currently, Euroseas Ltd. owns and operates 7 vessels, including 1 Panamax drybulk carrier, 2 Handysize bulk carriers, 3 Handysize containerships and 1 Handysize multipurpose dry cargo vessel. Euroseas will continue to operate in the dry cargo, drybulk and container shipping markets, with operations managed by Eurobulk Ltd., an ISO 9001:2000 certified affiliated ship management company, which is responsible for the day-to-day commercial and technical management and operations of the vessels.
Euroseas employs its vessels in the spot and time charter market and through pool arrangement. Presently, our three containership and our multipurpose vessels are employed under time charters, as well as one of our handysize bulkers; the other handysize bulker is under trip charters, while our panamax vessel, "IRINI," is employed in the Baumarine pool that is managed by Klaveness, a major global charterer in the drybulk area, and also participates in three "short" funds (contracts to carry cargo at agreed rates), minimizing its exposure to the spot market (covered at 102% in 2006, 77% for 2007 and 42% for 2008, approximately).

Excel Maritime Announces 2Q 2006 Results Release Date
---Earnings Release: Thursday, July 27, 2006, After 4:00 p.m. EDT; Conference Call and Webcast: Friday, July 28, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. EDT
ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 21, 2006 -- Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (NYSE: EXM), an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, announced today that after the close of the market on Thursday, July 27, 2006 it will release its results for the second quarter and six month period ended June 30, 2006.
The next day, Friday, July 28, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. EDT, the company's management will host a conference call to discuss the results.
Conference Call details:
Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1-866-819-7111 (from the US), 0800-953-0329 (from the UK) or +44 (0)1452-542-301 (all other callers). Please quote "Excel Maritime."
In case of any problem with the above numbers, please dial 1-866-869-2352 (from the US), 0800-694-1449 (from the UK) or +44 (0)1452-560-304 (all other callers). Quote "Excel Maritime."
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until August 4, 2006 by dialing 1-866-247-4222 (from the US), 0800-953-1533 (from the UK) or +44 1452-550-000 (all other callers). Access Code: 1838801#
Slides and audio webcast:
There will also be a live -- and then archived -- webcast of the conference call, through the internet through the Excel Maritime Carriers website ( Participants to the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.
About Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd
The Company is an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains, as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. The company's current fleet consists of 17 vessels (ten Panamax and seven Handymax vessels) with a total carrying capacity of 1,004,930 dwt. The Company was incorporated in 1988 and its common stock had been listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) since 1998. As of September 15, 2005 Excel Maritime is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), trading under the symbol EXM. For more information about the company, please go to our corporate website

Tsavliris and Smit combine in Cape rescue
---Salvage company Tsavliris worked tirelessly with local sub-contractor Smit Salvage to effect repairs to the bulk carrier Setsuyo Star , anchored in the environmentally sensitive False Bay near Cape Town in South Africa so that the vessel could continue its voyage.
At the briefing, the stable condition of the bulk carrier was discussed and all were updated on the progress of the repair operation.
Good co-operation and communication between authorities, salvors and other stakeholders is ongoing.
The threat posed by the bulk carrier to the environment was considered by authorities and salvors to be minimal given that the structural integrity of the vessel remained intact, damage was minimal and restricted to number one hold and the repair process progressed well.
In addition the tug Smit Amandla was made fast and used to position the Setsuyo Star in order to protect the port side from weather and sea conditions.
Weather forecasting specific to the site took place daily and strict access and safety procedures were put in place, along with strict anti-littering and garbage disposal control.
The bulk carrier was built in 1985 and loaded with 166,000 tonnes of iron ore, had 1,000 tonnes of fuel on board and was en route to the Far East from Brazil.
The master and crew remained on the casualty and continued to be responsible for the day-to-day running of the ship.
The bulk carrier was anchored approximately 3 km off of Millers Point in a depth of 30 metres. At the time of writing weather conditions were favourable and prospects were good for the work to be completed early in
Source:, Friday July 21 2006

Boxship flees from justice
Source: Fairplay Daily News, 20 Jul 2006

Shipping Companies and Key Personnel Indicted for Vessel Pollution
---7/14/2006 5:37:00 PM
To: National Desk
Contact: U.S. Department of Justice, 202-514-2007, 202-514-1888 (TDD)
WASHINGTON, July 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A grand jury in Delaware returned a five-count indictment charging Greece-- based shipping companies, Chian Spirit Maritime Enterprises Inc. (Chian Spirit) and Venetico Marine and three individuals, Adrian Dragomere, Kristos Pagones, and Evangelos Madias, with conspiracy to commit environmental crimes and obstructing U.S. Coast Guard investigations related to the operation of the tanker vessel Irene E/M. The Irene is owned and operated by Chian Spirit. A fourth individual, Grigore Manolache, pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with representing false information to the U.S. Coast Guard.
According to the indictment, Dragomere was a licensed First Engineer, and at all times was responsible for managing and supervising the engine department, including compliance with laws regulating the discharge of oil from the ship. Pagones was a technical supervisor for the Irene and Madias was the owner of defendant Venetico Marine and was responsible for the management and fiscal outlays to support the Irene's ongoing ocean shipping enterprise.
Engine room operations on board large oceangoing vessels such as the Irene generate large amounts of waste oil. International and U.S. law prohibit the discharge of waste oil without treatment by an oily water separator - a required pollution prevention device. Law also requires all overboard discharges be recorded in an oil record book, a required log which is regularly inspected by the Coast Guard.
The indictment alleges that on an unknown date, but including at least on or about October 3, 2005, and continuing through on or about December 10, 2005, the defendants and numerous subordinate officers and crew members of the Irene conspired to create and maintain a false Oil Record Book, in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and to knowingly impede and attempt to influence a vessel inspection by members of the U.S. Coast Guard. It further alleges that, as part of the conspiracy, Dragomere both discharged and ordered the discharge of untreated oily sludge and unprocessed bilge water directly into the ocean from the Irene through the use of a "magic pipe," which bypassed the oily water separator as much as four times per week. Additionally, he failed to record or cause the recording of these discharges in the vessel's Oil Record Book.
To further the conspiracy, Chian Spirit, Venetico Marine, Madias, Pagones, and Dragomere are alleged to have directed and encouraged members of Irene's crew to lie to the Coast Guard about the dumping of oily sludge and oil-contaminated bilge water into the sea and/or to conceal material facts about the system used to perform overboard discharges of oily sludge and bilge water.
Chian Spirit and Venetico Marine each face up to $2.5 million in criminal fines and five years probation; Dragomere faces up to 15 years in prison, a potential fine of $750,000 and a special assessment of $300; and Madias and Pagones, each face up to 10 years in prison, a $500,000 fine and a special assessment of $200. Manolache faces up to five years in prison, a potential fine, a special assessment of $100, and a term of probation up to five years.
An indictment contains only allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Ship's crew held in legal limbo for 7 months
---07/20/2006. Romanian vessel was detained in Delaware Bay in December
For seven months, Grigore Manolache feared being arrested and sent to jail -- though he didn't know what the charge would be.
He was in a legal limbo that wouldn't allow him to return to his native Romania to be with his wife and children.
He also was not allowed to work. And though he could have traveled, he didn't have the money, didn't know much about the United States and didn't know the English language very well.
He had to clear any moves with federal authorities.
Manolache, 52, the captain of the cargo ship M/V Irene E.M., and eight crew members were detained in the United States by a little-known practice that allows federal officials to hold a ship's crew without charge when an environmental crime -- in this case suspected oil dumping -- has occurred.
By Wednesday evening, the long wait for Manolache and most of the crew ended. Six of the seven were allowed to leave, after giving depositions in the case, and the seventh is expected to leave by the week's end.
Manolache, who pleaded guilty to what his attorney called a bookkeeping violation, was sentenced to unsupervised probation -- meaning he was free to go home.
"The government wasted all this time for that," said attorney Michael K. Twersky, who represents seven of the crew.
The detention of Manolache, chief engineer Adrian Dragomir and seven crew members -- one Romanian and six from the Philippines -- started in the Delaware Bay on Dec. 5, with a routine port stop by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Irene was en route from Brazil to Camden, N.J., to deliver 30,000 tons of salt.
The crew was held after an inspection of the ship turned up safety violations and evidence of a piping system used to dump oil.
Manolache never was charged as part of a conspiracy to dump oil involving chief engineer Dragomir and the ship's owners. The crew members never were charged in the case.
The Irene was allowed to leave a few weeks after the stop with a replacement crew. But Manolache and the original crew were stuck in the United States as part of a security agreement between the government and the ship's owners. The company also posted a $500,000 bond.
The agreement only was supposed to last 90 days, but Department of Justice prosecutors extended the agreement three times -- to July 15.
When Manolache would ask about the status of the case, his attorney was told prosecutors couldn't answer because the investigation was continuing.
Department of Justice attorneys from Washington who handled the case declined to comment.
This practice of holding a shipping crew without charge is controversial internationally, said Lizabeth L. Burrell, president of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
It pits the rights of sailors against the government's interest in protecting the public from pollution by giving them time to investigate before the crew disappears to another port.
While the practice has been common for at least eight years, Burrell had never heard of a crew being held for so long. Attorneys for the men said the practice amounts to taking hostages.
Drewry Fennell, executive director of the Delaware American Civil Liberties Union, was troubled by the lack of due process for the men.
"I think what you have here is an example of the awesome power of the government to take people's liberty under what, in this case, seems to be fairly thin circumstances," she said.
Manolache's attorney, Bruce Pasfield of Washington, said federal prosecutors seemed to have forgotten that they were dealing with people whose lives were disrupted during the investigation.
The company paid the captain and crew and put them up in a hotel while they waited for prosecutors to finish the investigation and file charges. But none of the men saw their stay as a paid vacation, attorneys said.
Richard M. Donaldson, who represented the crew, said prosecutors have not offered any explanation of why his clients were not deposed months ago. "They have literally been available every hour of every day [for the past seven months]," he said.
Manolache said the first week was "OK" but then it began to weigh on him -- a captain without a ship or duties, a prisoner without charges or a cell.
"It became very difficult, there was stress," he said, pausing to find the words in English. "No more power. Nothing happening. Hearing nothing. Not knowing what will happen in the future."
For the first three months, Manolache would rise at 6:30 a.m. and walk six miles -- from the America's Best hotel near the Philadelphia sports complex to the Seamen's Church Institute across town.
The trek through cold, rain and snow along heavily traveled roads would take him most of the morning. At the Institute, he would use the recreation services, playing pool or talking with other sailors, and he would pray for an end to the situation.
He would then walk back, arriving at the hotel around 3 p.m., and finish his day by reading, watching television or filling out a meticulous expense log he created to occupy himself. In its blank pages, he pasted receipts, tracked everything he spent down to the dime, "To keep my mind alive."
Because of the ongoing investigation, his attorneys told him not to speak to the other crew members. After several weeks, he began suffering bouts of depression and was prescribed Prozac.
Manolache said being stuck in a hotel room doing nothing was a difficult way to earn money. "I prefer to spend my time working on the ship," he said.
Manolache had hoped to be home to celebrate Christmas with his wife and children. The family celebrated without him.
And soon he found he also would not be home for Easter or his birthday, June 15.
Church offers hope, relief
Since the ordeal began, he has spoken with his family several times. "They are waiting for me," he said. "And asking 'When will you come back?' I reply all the time 'Maybe, maybe, maybe.' "
After he discovered a Romanian church in the city -- Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church -- Manolache took a small room there.
The church, with a congregation of 60, had little money and a large aging building near Spring Garden Street. So Manolache traded his long walks for mopping floors, cleaning carpets, ringing bells, cutting grass and preparing food and coffee for church gatherings.
"The time I spent here was good for my mind," he said.
Last week, Manolache and the crew found out that their months' long wait was finally nearing an end.
Attorneys for the crew filed an emergency petition in U.S. District Court in Wilmington seeking to free the men, and at the same time, the company refused to pay the crew's expenses for another month.
Time 'akin' to prison
On July 13, the day District Judge Gregory M. Sleet was set to hear the petition, prosecutors finally unveiled the charges in grand jury indictments.
Manolache was charged with making a false entry in his logbook about a safety drill. In the log, he indicated that the crew had completed an "anti-swimmer attack drill" in August when it had not.
Chief engineer Dragomir, and Venetico Marine, the ship's owner, were charged with conspiracy, witness tampering and a false entry in a logbook to cover dumping of oil.
In addition, a company technical adviser, Kristos Pagones, who boarded the Irene during the Coast Guard stop, also was charged in the cover-up.
Court papers indicate that the ship's engine room was modified with a "magic pipe" to bypass a filtration device and allow the dumping of oily sludge directly into the ocean.
The indictment charges that Dragomir ordered the crew to dump the sludge at least four times a week between October 2005 and December 2005. Dumping is a violation of international laws.
The others were not charged.
It was only last week -- in front of Sleet -- that prosecutors agreed to take depositions from the seven, which would allow them to finally return home.
Dragomir and an attorney for Venetico Marine entered innocent pleas. Manolache entered a guilty plea, admitting the log entry was false.
Department of Justice senior trial attorney Mark Kotila pressed for a full pre-sentence report on Manolache, saying prosecutors would seek jail time.
On Wednesday, trial attorney Jeffrey Phillips said when Capt. Manolache lied to port officials, he undermined the security of America and the safeguards set up after Sept. 11, 2001.
A full report would have meant three more months of waiting for Manolache and possibly four to 10 months in jail. Sleet, however, turned down the request and scheduled the sentencing for Wednesday.
After hearing the arguments, Sleet gave Manolache a year of unsupervised probation, just about the lightest sentence available. Sleet said Manolache's seven months in America were "akin" to prison.
After the decision, Manolache was eager to return to Romania.
Camden, N.J., was the last stop on a yearlong tour with the Irene. With seven months added on, this has been the longest he has been away from home in his 26-year career.
"After each voyage, when I go home, I am sick. After this voyage I am twice sick," he said.
Manolache likely will leave Friday.
Source:, By SEAN O'SULLIVAN, The News Journal

Greek duo gets into media
---The "super duo" of shipowner Theodore Angelopoulos and his wife, Athens 2004 Olympic Games organiser Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, have landed themselves on a new playing field, the media game.
The business-savvy couple now control Athens-based conservative newspaper Eleftheros Tipos, which stands for "free press" in Greek.
The pair surprised local media circles when they announced their majority stake in the newspaper. They are understood to have taken the reins of another outfit that in turn took over the newspaper's publisher and holding vehicle, the Press Foundation.
The president of the newspaper's new holding company, called Press Consortium, is George Dalacouras of Dalex Shipping of Greece, while Evangelos Marinakis and George Moundreas are said to be shareholders.
Eleftheros Tipos was spearheaded in 1990 by another dynamic duo in Greek media history Aris and Lilian Voudouri.
Marketed as an independent commentator on political and cultural events, the afternoon publication was recently said to be one of the few national dailies showing growthin circulation numbers.
In early 2005, the Angelopouloses stopped short of buying publishing house Pegasus, which controls, among other enterprises, two widely read dailies. The couple cited personal reasons for walking away from the deal.
Source:, published: 21 July 2006

Three new suburban railway stations inaugurated
--- Transport Minister Michalis Liapis inaugurated three new suburban railway(Proastiakos) stations on the Athens-Corinth section on Monday. The stations will open to commuters on Tuesday.
The 10-million-euro stations of Ano Liosia, Aspropyrgos and Magoula are capable of serving an estimated 5,000 people living in the region of western Attica as well as those working in the emerging industrial region.
Liapis characterized the Proastiakos as a very important project offering quick and safe transportation. Referring to the three new stations he said that they will facilitate commuting in the regions of western Attica and contribute to their economic growth.
He also said that the new Proastiakos stations under construction at Penteli and Piraeus will be ready by the end of the year, while construction works at the stations of Chalkida, Kiato and Metamorphosis will be completed by early 2007.
Source:, Athens News Agency, Greece - Jul 17, 2006

World Coal Conference to be held in Athens - October 2006
The 26th Coaltrans - World Coal Conference will this year be held in Greece at the Hilton Hotel in Athens during 22 - 25 October 2006.
For more informations:
Source: The coal industry which, up until recently was dismissed as a residual artefact of a waning industrial age, has today become the darling of consumers and investors alike.