Stefano Messina at the Assarmatori Annual Meeting 2022: “Too many open matches to afford a government crisis”

The implementation of the PNRR and the economic recovery require decisions, not crisis. The world of shipping calls the institutional counterparts to overcome any impasse and return to work on concrete issues. With this in mind, the President of Assarmatori Stefano Messina recalled the necessity to settle immediately any issue with regard to maritime transport, in order to guarantee development and employment. “We, therefore, asked to tackle the potentially devastating negative impacts that Italian shipping would suffer from the combined provisions of the regulations dictated by the IMO and the Fit for 55 package of the European Union; simplify the regulatory framework of the maritime sector, exempting it from the rules dictated 80 years ago and, indeed, ensuring as soon as possible the support of the State for the activities of Italian shipowners; protect the Italian cruise industry, and all its related activities also in terms of employment, with particular regard to the ‘Venice case’; and, again, taking into account the know-how of shipowners in view of the next imports of liquefied natural gas”.

These are precisely the main issues on which the President of Assarmatori focused during the Annual Meeting 2022 held at the Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel in Rome, that have seen the participation of the Minister of Infrastructures and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, and the main exponents of the world of economics, politics and institutions.

“We are facing a difficult historical moment, challenging and at the same time also full of opportunities – argued Messina – Our sector is handling two years of pandemic and then the birth of geopolitical tensions, starting with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Apart from this, the armament is facing old and new problems. Opening a government crisis at this time would be irresponsible ”.

“Our companies want to persist creating development and employment – added Messina – and are concerned about the timeliness of IMO and EU regulations in terms of environmental sustainability. We ask the Government to contest in the final negotiations between Parliament, the Council and the Commission for the connections with the islands (especially for the major islands) and the Motorways of the Sea, which must be promoted without discrimination between operators, avoiding boomerang effects, or the reverse modal shift from the sea to the road. A similar concern is also expressed in relation to the legislation simplification procedure, as we must outbound ourselves from rules dictated 80 years ago in order to compete on equal terms with foreign shipowners. Maritime Companies are awaiting to see in force what the Commission has required two and a half years ago, or to extend the benefits of the International Register, an instrument that guaranteed growth and employment, even to the Italian companies operating with ships registered in the countries of the European Union ”

It’s not all. «Even the cruise sector, albeit in strong recovery after the traffic crisis derived by the pandemic, is experiencing an intricate moment – added the president of Assarmatori – The closure of the Giudecca Canal in Venice has led to a severe crisis of this sector. We call the Government to allow the employment of the Vittorio Emanuele Canal and to accelerate the development of Marghera terminals, guaranteeing additional resources to the Commissioner: this sector is also a fundamental backbone of the national economy “.

Finally, according to Messina, the fact that maritime transport is an essential infrastructure of the country is confirmed by the investments requested by the Government from publicly controlled companies, which have begun to move by acquiring floating regasifiers: “In view of the next imports of liquefied natural gas, shipowners have the skills to manage the supply chain and the logistics and make our know-how available “.