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22 October 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 13:11 GMT+2

May 18, 2020

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Spanish trade union CCOO calls for nationalisation of shipping companies operating essential regular services

In addition, according to the trade union organisation, countries such as Malta and Cyprus should be considered foreign compared to European cabotage

The Spanish trade union CCOO (Confederacion Sindical de Comisiones Obreras), in light of the effects that the pandemic of Covid-19 has had and is having on the transport sector and, in Maritime services, urged the nationalisation of shipping companies operating services essential for connecting the continental Spanish territory with the islands and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, also with the aim of putting state-controlled services seafarers that need to be insured at times emergency services.

Emphasizing that due to the health crisis, health care companies navigation that operate regular lines for the transport of passengers and even freight between the peninsular ports and the territories non-peninsular Spaniards have been severely affected by restrictions on passenger movement, the union highlighted that major shipping companies such as ARMAS (Transmediterr-nea), which operate regular lines essential to supply to the islands and Ceuta and Ceuta Melilla, have shown that this crisis has put them in a delicate situation despite the amount of economic aid received over the years. According to CCOO, these companies should therefore be nationalised or participated by the state in consideration of both their strategic value and - noted the union - "of the few guarantees that their current management is proving."

In addition, for CCOO, any aid to the merchant fleet, No matter how it materializes, it must always be Spanish-flagged ships and commitment to employment, and not just shipping companies operate from Spain or operate regular lines between ports Spanish. The union has made it clear that, although it is normal use of flags of convenience, including those from countries EU, however, the use of these flags - denounced CCOO -'denounces a lack of social responsibility because they avoid taxes from the country of origin owner, to impose precarious working conditions and also to impose be subject to less stringent security controls."

CCOO stressed that "the merchant navy must be a strategic sector and have a Spanish flag fleet is essential, because - explained the union - in the crisis, when specific supply, the state must have a fleet under the its control, since the ships with flags of comfortable (although some of them come from the EU) may be requests from their flag states to secure their own supplies.'

CCOO therefore highlighted the need to "recover the formula that European cabotage needs to be implemented ships flying the flag of the European Union respect for workers' rights and with obligations tax and security.' "So - according to the union - flags of countries such as Malta and Cyprus should be considered foreign to European cabotage.'

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