In an attempt to bolster its coffers, the Athens government is imposing more stringent taxation measures on the Greek shipping industry. Over the past two years, Greek-owned ships, rather than just ships which bear the Greek flag, have been be taxed. The amount of tax has also doubled, meaning the amount of tax revenues the shipping industry is paying to Greece has grown "exponentially".
The key concern for the future of the Greek shipping industry remaining in Greece is whether the country can maintain a stable environment for business – especially when it comes to taxes. The money that flows through Greece from shipping equates to about 7 or 8 percent of GDP, according to Lloyd's List Intelligence, meaning there is a lot at stake for the economy.
"The percentage of GDP that shipping represents has been going up even during bad markets, where in recent poor shipping markets, its relative importance to the Greek economy has increased," Lowry said, adding that as a cyclical business, shipping market is due and expected to return to relative strength.
"Greece has a number of problems, the main one being government. As watchers and bystanders - they (Greek shipping businesses) want the best of the whole country. The Greek business community and shipping are absolutely desperate for the country to remain in the euro zone, because they believe it is best for the country," he said.