From President Stefano Messina, the proposal for an urgent measure containing public guarantees to banks to stem the crisis, especially in the passenger traffic sector
Immediately rewrite the rules of the game and rules of engagement of the credit system, activating new forms of State guarantee, to ensure the maintenance of the operation of essential and strategic shipowning companies for the entire economic fabric of the country.
Stefano Messina, President of Assarmatori, an Association representing the national and international armament operating in Italy, and Member of Conftrasporto, takes the field to safeguard a sector, that of maritime transport, the importance of which is emerging in a clear and sometimes explosive way, just at the moment of a global emergency such as the one generated by the Corona Virus epidemic.
“Government and Public Administration work commendably, together with the other institutions, employers ‘, workers’ and civil society representatives, to first of all fight the health emergency and the economic repercussions connected to the consequences of the Corona Virus – says Messina – but our sector, due to the nature of service it provides, requires specific intervention: that is, it is necessary to immediately put in place an operation in support of companies based on a guarantee in favor of the credit system, which can allow an expansion of the credit system, which could allow for an extension of the lines of credit, widening the creditworthiness networks, possibly burdening the responsibility of the public system in the case of essential logistics and connection services, as in some cases the maritime services operating in the country for the continuity and maintenance of the Motorways of the Sea and connections with the major and minor islands. This considering, as is now evident, the de facto zeroing of passenger movement, with heavy repercussions also on those north south connections and for the islands, which guarantee the continuity of the distribution chain of goods in the country system”.
“This will have to be implemented – continues the President of ASSARMATORI – also clashing with the capital parameters imposed by the ECB; if this does not happen we will find ourselves registering measures, full of goodwill, but completely inefficient and ineffective at a time when the shipowning companies, with a very high intensity of invested capital and high employment, are emerging, perhaps for the first time so clearly as the backbone of the supply of raw materials, energy resources, consumer products, food industry, in a word, of everything that makes the country work”.
According to ASSARMATORI, some banks have already declared their willingness to provide new credit supports to companies, but today major system operation is indispensable, involving the State first of all through the system of direct guarantees or through the issue of Government
Bonds that allow banks to extend their credit facilities to shipowners and maritime companies, structuring products with limited risk for underwriters, since the higher amounts granted to companies will then have to be returned to the banks themselves.
“It is not the time for discussions – concludes Stefano Messina – there is a need for decisions in the short term, to protect the integrity of the companies, the logistics system, all suppliers and above all, the thousands of workers operating in the sector, who at this time do not have sufficient elements of income support”.