Probe questions shipping's importance to Greece

It is a myth that shipping's economic contribution to the Greek economy is as significant as the industry claims and as official records show, reports news agency Reuters in an analysis.

It is in broad terms a myth that Greek shipowners, who combined control one of the largest commercial fleets in the world, contribute as much to the country's economy as official records indicate and the industry itself claims. The reason is that Greek shipowners in their financial statements include billions of dollars that in effect never wind up anywhere near Greece.

This is evident from an analysis made by Reuters on the basis of reports from carriers and a probe into official data from the economy in Greek shipping, a sector that has historically been protected by extremely favorable tax conditions. Following the collapse of the Greek economy, numerous critics and the large swaths of the population in general have challenged the longtime protection of Greek shipowners.

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