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  31/03/2021: Vietnam wants to promote maritime cooperation with Greece

The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam pays tribute to the Kritikos family and in particular to the Evangelos Kritikos and Spyridon Kritikos, because through their naval and maritime activity , starting from the 1960s until today, significant humanitarian services have been offered to the people of Vietnam at critical historical moments. The above event reflects and gives value to the whole of Greek Merchant Shipping. 

In recognition of the above and as a record of historical events after the end of the Coronavirus Pandemic, 2 official ceremonies will take place - one in Greece and one in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, where Mr. Evangelos Kritikos is the official guest of the Government of Vietnam.

In support of the above, an official meeting was held between Mr. Evangelos Kritikos and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Vietnam to Greece, Mr. Nquyen Manh Cuong, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at the Embassy of Vietnam.

This was the first news in the Vietnamese media.

Source: World and Newspaper of Vietnam

 

  13/01/2021: KRITIKOS VANGELIS - A LEGEND NAME: RECORDING OF HIS ADVENTURE LIFE AND HIS ROUTE

The long journey of Mr. Kritikos Evangelos, CEO of KRITIKOS SHIPPING LINES MARITIME COMPANY, to the Oceans and seas of Greek Merchant Shipping began in an adventurous way.

We quote the relevant abstract as he characteristically narrates it:

" The most shocking moment in my life and at the same time scary, was the shipwreck I experienced at a very young age with my parents.

My mother and I went to visit my father, who was on a French-made cargo ship, which was carrying expensive and valuable items on behalf of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia.

We were at sea off Rotterdam, it was 12.00 noon, and I remember I was with my mother in the dining room of the ship where I was playing with my toys, when suddenly a deafening, creepy sound of collision was heard, the ship was shaken and everything in the area overturned.

We were struck by a Polish cargo ship at storeroom number two, creating a huge rift. My mother and I went out in the corridors and I remember my father coming running and telling my mother to keep me close to her because the ship will sink within 2 hours at the most and nothing can be done to save it.

I remember panicking, crew members running, some injured during the collision and some trapped inside their cabins and having to break down doors to get out.

I remember my father slapping some crew members who were screaming, to recover from panic.

Some members of the crew, in violation of the orders of both my father and the captain, threw the boats to leave the side of the rift, with the result that due to the intense turbulence the boats were dragged into the rift and destroyed.

There were helicopters with divers who fell with ropes on the ship, to save the valuable goods and cars of the Royal family.

My mother and I were taken to the deck, with the ship already having a steep and dangerous tilt. The sea was turbulent 6-7 Beaufort and as a result it was very difficult to board the boats.

My mother climbed the ladder and jumped into the boat as the wave lifted her, but for me it was impossible cause I was very young. I was hugged by the boatwain and as the ripples lifted the boat, he threw me into the air and the crew members that had already boarded, caught me.

The Polish ship took us, while my father and Captain Thanasis Voulieris, his partner, were the last on the ship in their attempt to save it.

When they could not do anything and due to the SOS that the ship had emitted, a small English ship from the many that rushed to the wreck area, sent a boat to rescue them.

I remember seeing the ship sink with the stern protruding out of the water.

My father and I got in touch later that day via radio. We finally seeing each other after two days, when the rescue boats reached the port of Rotterdam.

Of course in Greece, where the media announced the sinking of the ship, panic prevailed among friends and relatives until they contacted us and made sure that we were well.

The above will remain strongly etched in my memory for as long as I live. "

 

In the context of his turbulent and adventurous life, he met and collaborated with important and historical personalities of both international and domestic political, social and business life.

Among the most important personalities he met and collaborated with from a young age, we choose to mention:

1. The ethnarch Konstantinos Karamanlis with whom his family had friendly relations

2. The former President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos

3. Former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis

4. The well-known and great shipowner Loukas Chatziioannou of Troodos Shipping

5. Former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

6. And in order for the description to remain authentic, we quote the relevant passage as narrated by him during his meeting with the great African leader and revolutionary Jerry Rawlings.

"At a young age, still a student, in the late 1980s, when in revolutionary Ghana I met the President of the Revolutionary Government, Jerry Rawlings, a young pilot at the time, perhaps one of the best pilots in Africa, as they were saying, who landed a warplane on a dirt road in the jungle.

The political situation in Ghana at the time was deteriorating, as the revolutionary government had overthrown the previous military regime that was close to the West at the height of the Cold War, between the then two superpowers America and Russia.

The new revolutionary government changed its international political orientation and was supported politically, economically and militarily by the then Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

So I introduced myself to the President of the country who received me because I was one of the few Western citizens who were in Ghana at the time and asked him to let me operate the then state-owned Ghanaian shipyards.

So I introduced myself to the President of the country who accept to see me because I was one of the few Western citizens who were in Ghana and I asked him to let me operate the state-owned Ghanaian shipyards.

Jerry Rawlings in the presence of his associates looked at me intently and then after smiling said:

"Only a Greek, and only at your age could come here and ask me something similar. But because I respect your courage and audacity and I see your determination and your faith in what you want to do, I will give the necessary instructions to have a positive response to your request ".

For history reasons, I mention that firstly for a long time in the 80's Ghana was under embargo on basic goods and oil and secondly that shortly after the signing of the relevant agreement with the Tema shipyards I managed to achieve under very difficult circumstances the tanking of two ships of a well-known Greek shipowner at the time, thus essentially relocating the Tema shipyards to the international shipping hub as they were the first ships of Western interests that were tanked after the revolution, thus opening the way for the rest ".

Evangelos Kritikos, a restless, adventurous and unconventional spirit and looking for new paths at the age of just 18, as mentioned above, takes the huge risk and goes to West Africa, Ghana and Nigeria as a young student, laying the foundations of his business.

So, in those political economic and social conditions that prevail in these countries of West Africa, Evangelos Kritikos succeeded with many adventures and after surviving 3 military revolutions – coups, risking his life, to establish shipping offices and companies engaged in ship brokering, loading and unloading and fueling ships etc., collaborating with the biggest names of the Greek Navy.

At the same time, he established his own shipping offices in Piraeus with the object of activity: ship ownership, management and repairs, fueling, catering, chartering and ship purchase and sales.

Over the years, he created a group of companies in Shipping, Tourism and Financial Services with the best known:

1. Kritikos Shipping Lines Maritime Company - Greece

2. Posidonia Shipping and Trading (LIB) S.A

3. Posidonia Shiptrade & Shipbrokers (CY) LTD

4. Kritikos Shipping Agencies (GH) LTD

Has studied:

· Economics at the Athens University of Economics.

· Legal at Universite Paris 13-Sorbonne Paris Cite.

· Tourism at EKPA.

· Management of Shipping companies in EKPA and in other corresponding bodies and institutions.

· He has graduated from the school of Rescue Means of Aspropyrgos

· Holder of certificates on competency naval for all types of ships

· Holder of navy brochure

Based on his academic studies, he deals with banking economics on behalf of individuals and corporations, prepares either actuarial or techno-economic studies which are the essential part of the lawsuits filed against banking institutions.

Carries out commercial assessments and valuations of real estate and undertakes the restructuring of troubled companies in order to make them viable.

He is considered one of the most reputable and internationally recognized Greek economists.

He is one of the founding and leading members of the consumers-borrowers movement in Greece.

Whenever there is a relevant issue, he participates:

A) In the work of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice of the Hellenic Parliament

B) In the work of the Trade Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament.

The most important distinction he has received in his professional and academic career is the fact that in 2007-2008-2009, for three consecutive years he was selected by the world-famous Swiss encyclopedia of personalities Who is Who, as one of its most important personalities. of modern Greece, which with his action influences social, political, economic developments.

He has given interviews on the operation of the banking system and the economy on the most well-known TV channels: Ant 1, Mega, AIter, Net, Star, Teleasti etc with reputable journalists, Hatzinikolaou Nikos, Triantaphyllopoulos Makis, Terence Quick, Papadakis Georgios, Kanneli Liana, Hardavelas Costas, Karatzaferis Spyros, Avtias Georgios, Tsapanidou Popi as well as:

On the radio stations ANT 1, Net, Real FM, Proto Thema, Polis, Kanali 1, Church Radio, Radio Kokkino, Athens 9.89, Municipal Radio of Thessaloniki, etc. and in the newspapers:

Nea, Eleftherotypia, Vima, Eleutheros Tipos, Naftemporiki, Thema, Avriani, Apogeumatini Xora, To Pontiki, Aggelioforos, Prooptiki, World of the Investor, etc.

He has given interviews to the French TV channel TV 5 EUROPE, the German TV channel ZDF and the German magazine SPIEGEL, on CNN, the Spanish newspaper Ρύblico and the Argentine newspaper El Mundo.

Since July 2013, he has been conducting his own TV show on the TV channel CONTRA CHANNEL, entitled « The citizen’s voice in the periscope of civilization.

From March 2014 and for a year, he made his own telecast on the TV channel Aigaio "Without Limits".

The 21th century finds the KRITIKOS family under the solid and experienced leadership and management of Mr. Evangelos Kritikos in the most strengthened phase and turning point of its history with an upward trend and trends in all areas of its activity to look with optimism , confidence and certainty the challenges of the future.

In the Miaouli Coast in Piraeus there are already discussions that a new dynasty was born based in Greece, Cyprus, Libya, the United Kingdom, Ghana, Nigeria and is active from the Black Sea and the Azofiki to the Red Sea, Mediterranean, Continent, Baltic Sea and the coasts of West Africa.

 

  01/07/2020: Research and Reportage of the prestigious Maritime Economies newspaper for the "History behind the NAME ... ...KRITIKOS"

The story behind the NAME ... KRITIKOS
MARITIME & SHIPPING HISTORY AND TRADITION OF KRITIKOS FAMILY
The naval tradition and history of the KRITIKOS family goes back to the depths of time and according to what is known mainly through the oral tradition and later from official records it begins in the late 18th century, early 190th century. The then ancestors owned sailing ships and boats. Around the middle of the 19th century and more specifically in 1866 and with the unquenchable flame for freedom that the disobedient inhabitants of Megalonisos, ie Crete, had, one of the many uprisings against the Turks broke out. KRITIKOS family participated in this revolution as a whole. With the suppression of the revolution, all the rescued members, escaped with their boats and sailboats and first sailed to Hydra. There, one of the ancestors married the daughter of a well-known family of Hydra who owned sailing ships and was the pre-pre grandmother (she was well known as captain) of the current CEO of KRITIKOS SHIPPING LINES, Evangelou Kritikou. The surname of the KRITIKOS family was different but after their departure from Crete to Hydra and then to Piraeus, where they settled in the middle of the 190th century, those who saw them said "those people came from Crete, so they are cretans", so the surname KRITIKOS prevailed. So, we reach the 200th century and Spyridon Evangelou Kritikos, who was born and raised in Piraeus, child of the occupation, in very difficult conditions with his beloved brother George. Vangelis' father left persecuted in America in the 1930s, a victim of the political passions of the time and the dictatorship of Metaxas. Characteristic of the difficulties of the time is the fact that his mother Kalliopi and his little sister Eleni died, during the German occupation, from the hardships and sufferings they suffered. He married Eleni (Neni) Kritikou - the genus Fatsea - and they had a son, Evangelos. After the absolute disaster that the family faced during the occupation, Spyros Kritikos studied alone and working at the same time, he finally became an officer of the Merchant Navy, First Engineer. He made his first voyages on the legendary ships Liberty. He then made a career and became an important executive in the company of Livanos shipowner. In the 1960s and during the Vietnam War, he broke the blockade imposed by the US Navy on North Vietnam by transporting food and medicine. At the same time, he was repairing the generators of the hospitals that had been destroyed by the American bombings and also donating the generator of his ship to a hospital, thus saving thousands of civilian lives.

For his action he was honored alive at that time by the then state officials of North Vietnam but also in death (died on November 24, 2019) when during his funeral procession, which took place on November 29, 2019 at the Church of St. Spyridon, a delegation of the Vietnamese government headed by the Ambassador of Vietnam to Greece Mr. Nguyen Manh Cuong was present at the port of Piraeus, headed by the Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim. He survived 3 shipwrecks and 1 plane crash. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he founded a ship-owning shipping company of Mediterranean cargo ships plowing the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, Africa reaching as far as the Baltic Sea. In the great shipping crisis of 1980-1985 he faces huge losses like all the then Greek and Greek-owned merchant shipping. Throughout the naval and shipping course of the Cretan Spyros, his wife Eleni (Neni) Kritikou, who passed away on October 3, 2016, actively participated. Evangelos Kritikos of Spyridon, the current CEO of KRITIKOS SHIPPING LINES MARITIME COMPANY, a young student, took over the reins of business at the very time of the catastrophe of the late 1980s. just 18 years old took his risks and goes to West Africa in Ghana and Nigeria. Ghana was ruled by a revolutionary government at the time and the political situation was deteriorating, as the then revolutionary government had overthrown the former pro-Western military regime, culminating in the then Cold War between the two then-superpowers America and Russia. The revolutionary government changed the

international political orientation of Ghana and was supported politically, economically and militarily by the then leader of Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In Nigeria, anarchy and political chaos prevailed in the late 1980s with constant revolutions and military coups. Facts that made it one of the most dangerous countries in the world. So in those political, economic and social conditions that prevailed in these 2 powerful countries of of West Africa, Evangelos Kritikos managed with many adventures but also risking his life to establish shipping offices and companies dealing with ship agencies, loading, unloading, shipping ship repairs, ship oil, collaborating from time to time with the biggest names in the Greek navy. At the same time he established his own shipping offices in Piraeus with the object of activity: ship ownership, ship management, ship repairs, ship oils, ship catering, chartering, ship sales. Over the years he created a group of companies in Shipping, Tourism and financial services and the most famous of which are:
1. Κritikοs Shipping Lines Maritime Company - Greece
2. Posidonia Shipping and Trading (LIB) S.A.
3. Posidonia shiptrade & shipbrokers (CY) ΙΤD
4. Κritikos shipping agencies (GH) LTD.

At a young age he survived a shipwreck when the cargo ship that he was with his parents outside Rotterdam, was bombed by a Polish cargo ship. Until today, he considers the above experience as one of the most shocking of his life.
• Studied Economics at the Athens University of Economics.
• Legal at Universite Paris13-Sorbonne Paris Cite.
• Tourism at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
• Management of Shipping companies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and other corresponding bodies and institutions.
• Owner of the nautical booklet.
• He has graduated from the rescue school of Aspropyrgos
• Holder of naval competency certificates for all types of ships.

Based on his academic studies, he deals with banking economics on behalf of individuals and corporations, prepares either actuarial or techno-economic studies which are the essential part of the lawsuits filed against banking institutions. Carries out commercial assessments and valuations of real estate and undertakes the restructuring of troubled companies in order to make them viable. He is considered one of the most reputable and internationally recognized Greek economists. He is one of the founding and leading members of the consumers-borrowers movement in Greece. Whenever there is a relevant issue, he participates in the work of the Trade Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament. It also participates in the work of relevant drafting committees of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The most important distinction he has received in his professional and academic career is the fact that in 2007-2008 he was selected by the world-famous Swiss encyclopedia of personalities "Who is Who", as one of the most important personalities of modern Greece whose action influences the social , political, economic developments. The 21st century finds the KRIIKOS family under the solid and experienced leadership and management of Mr. Cretan Evangelos in the most strengthened phase and turning point of its history with upward trend and trends in all areas of its activity to look with optimism, confidence and certainty of the future.

  24/06/2020: Interview of Mr. Kritikos Evangelos in the prestigious Maritime Economies shipping newspaper for the Present and Future of Greek Shipping

 Hellenic Shipping many times during its historical course has been faced with challenges due to a different causes. Whether in technological advances or in world-influential political and military events, or in global economic crises. We typically refer to the transition from sailing to steam shipping (steamships), World War I, World War II, huge losses of Greek Merchant Shipping and its rebirth from its ashes. Closing the Suez Canal, etc. Greek Merchant Shipping is currently facing similar challenges. As such challenges we can identify environmental protection with the mandatory use and application of scraber, as well as the gradual transition from the use of oil as a fuel for ships in natural gas and electromobility. Cosmogenic geostrategic & geopolitical changes that radically change the ways and conditions of maritime trade. The shift in the weight and center of global production capacity, gradually and slowly from the US and the European Union, to the countries of the Far East , Pakistan, Singapore, North and South Korea, etc. where the above has as a consequence the corresponding shift of power. In the above emerging multipolar world, Greek shipping must find its way to maintain its acquis and balance.

 Experienced shipping executives claim that the changes that have taken place in shipping in recent years have not taken place in the past 100 years. Many shipping agencies are now talking about the 4th revolution that is directly linked to the introduction of digital shipping on the ship and its management. Paddles, sails, steam, diesel engines and digital technology are the major milestones in the evolution of shipping. But the latest developments have been accompanied by a tsunami of bureaucracy and legislation that drastically changes the environment in which companies in the industry operate. An important parameter that concerns the critical developments that occur in Greek Shipping is the loss of the original link between the 4 factors that make up the core of Greek Shipping, namely ship owner, navy, flag and headquarters. If no immediate effort is made and effective and flexible legislative measures are not taken, we are very much afraid that we will be led to a gradual de-Hellenization of Greek Merchant Shipping.

 There is a historical precedent and we bring as an example the Greek Merchant Mediterranean Shipping that while during the dekades 1950- 1960-1970-1980, more than 2,000 Mediterranean cargo ships with a genuine connection with Greece flooded Med Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea etc. etc., and gave life to the repair zone of Perama, creating thousands of jobs in the maritime professions such as shipping, ship repairs, etc. We have reached today where there are hardly 100 Greek Mediterranean cargo ships and the leadership have taken countries with no naval tradition such as Russia, Turkey, Syria and to a lesser extent Lebanon and Egypt. Of course, we must not forget what happened to the Imperial British seafarer, who until the beginning of the 200th century was the ruler of the seas and over a period of several decades was enslaved and surpassed by the flags of many other nations. It is obvious for careful observers and experienced analysts that simply the pandemic of Coronavirus COVΊD ~ 19 accelerates developments in a number of factors that directly or indirectly affect shipping. As such factors we can recognize:

1) The global economic recession that has already begun
2) The acceleration of geostrategic and geopolitical changes and balances
3) Bankruptcies of states mainly in the underdeveloped regions of the world
4) The changes in the routes of maritime trade and energy flows
5) The shift of economic and military power centers.

The personal opinion of the author is, that despite the strong position of the Greek Merchant Shipping at the present time, there is a serious risk and a strong possibility that in the coming decades it will undergo a serious contraction. I base this prediction on the fact that those components that allowed it to be created and to grow have begun to disappear and disintegrate. In order to prevent such an adverse development, immediate mixed measures must be taken:

1) Reduction to the minimum of bureaucracy related to the operation of Shipping and Maritime Companies
2) Adoption of more flexible and modern legislation regarding the registration under the Greek flag
3) Flexibility in crew conditions in all categories of ships
4) Upgrading and strengthening the Merchant Navy Academies whether they are in the public or private sector
5) Incentives for attracting young people to the Maritime Profession
6) Financial - legislative - tax incentives for the establishment of foreign companies in Greece adapted to modern requirements
7) Preservation of existing know-how and incentives for the re-establishment of a strong shipbuilding and shiprepair industry
8) Consolidation, modernization and reform of the legislation governing the trade union movement
9) Attempt to re-establish the genuine bond between Greek shipowner - Greek navy - ships under Greek flag - Greek company - Greek invested funds.

 This effort must start with small-class ships due to the lack of sufficient Greek capital to invest and as long as it is established it can be extended to larger-class ships. We should not miss the fact that the seafaring Hellenic Shipping is largely de-Hellenized as almost all of the invested funds come from banking institutions and abroad investments, whether they have been raised from foreign stock exchanges, most of them are located in shipping and financial centers abroad, use a very small percentage of Greek crews, as well as office executives. And their leaders are just good managers - accountants of the funds they were given, to invest in shipping.

 

  Interview - First Topic - Front page in the reputable Maritime Economies shipping newspaper of Mr. Kritikos Evangelos President and CEO of the Kritikos Maritime Lines N.E.

 

  

Mr. Kritike, would you like to tell us about your first business steps?

My first business steps were taken in the late 80's at a very young age, still a student in the first years of the University of Economics. Having strong memories from the then recent shipping crisis of 1981-1985 when I was a high school student, through my father's shipping company, Spyros Kritikos, who was engaged in the shipping of Mediterranean cargo ships. Then, I remember that, in order to reduce as much as possible the operating costs of both the office in Piraeus and the ships, in the office in Piraeus, from the early morning, my mother Neni Kritikou and I took over the operation and management of the office. At noon, when I was finishing my class, I was immediately going to the office to fill any gaps needed in either chartering or operation, etc., and of course at the same time I was reading my lessons. And my father together with his brother and uncle, George as well as my uncle Nikos Vassiliou and his partner Cp. Thanassis Voulieres and Cp Theodoros Voulieris sailing our ships. This particular crisis that I experienced as a young man along with the hearings I had as a child from the previous oil crisis of 1974-1975, which began from oil crisis and evolved into shipping crisis, drastically affected my way of thinking and acting.  

So one of the most important decisions I have made in my life was and it is, to never have just one subject of activity, but many parallel activities in different subjects, because that way, you get a much greater degree of resilience and sustainability, learning from the plight of my father who was only involved in shipping. So I decided, as I was going through my student days, to open my own shipping office in Piraeus which, in addition to shipping, would deal with chartering, agency, shipping, ship sales, ship management and repairs. In parallel with the above and through very difficult procedures and conditions in the same time period I was able to set up shipping offices in West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria and Tema in Ghana.

What were the stimuli that led you to engage in shipping?

My family has had a long historical journey at sea since the 19th century. From a young age, my first hearings were stories about my great-grandmother, Hydraissa, the captain for ships, sailors, shipowners, and anything to do with the sea. At the same time, I had intense fermentation with the sea because my parents took me with them on their travels. I typically remember captains, engineers, crowbars, sailors, pilots playing with me. I remember my mother many times on ship's escalators, my father in the shipbarns, in the engine rooms and in the shipyards that took me with him. So how can I not deal with the sea when it was registered in my DNA?

What are your most important moments in your personal life, pleasant or unpleasant?

The happy moments include my marriage to my beloved wife, Fai. The birth of my beloved daughter Mariel (Eleni - Maria) and now that this interview is given, the anticipation of the birth of my son. The most unpleasant moments of my personal life are the death of my mother Neni (Eleni) in October 2016 and the death of my father Spyros, in November 2019. At that time I felt a special emotional charge due to the presence of every friend of my Father. Also an official delegation led by the official representative of the Vietnamese government, headed by the Ambassador of Vietnam to Greece Mr. Nguyen Manh Cuong, who delivered a funeral speech expressing the gratitude of the Vietnamese government for the humanitarian services offered my father to the Vietnamese people during the war. The most shocking moment in my life and at the same time scary was the shipwreck that I experienced at a very young age with my parents. My mother and I had gone to visit my father, who was on a French-built cargo ship, which was transporting expensive and valuable items on behalf of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. We were at sea off Rotterdam, it was 12.00 noon and I remember being with my mother in the dining room of the ship where I had my toys with me when suddenly a deafening, creepy sound of collision was heard. The ship was shaken and everything in the area was overturned. We were vaccinated by a Polish truck, creating a huge rift. My mother and I went out into the hallways and I remember my father coming running and telling my mother to keep me close to her because the ship would have sunk in no more than 2 hours. I remember panic, crew members running, some were injured during the collision and some were trapped in their cabins and had to break down the doors to free them. I remember my father slapping some crew members who were paniced. Some crew members, in violation of the orders of both my father and the captain, dropped the boats to leave from the side of the rift, causing the boats to be dragged into the crash and destroyed due to the severe sea turbulence.. There were helicopters with divers that fell with ropes, in order to save valuable goods of the Royal family. My mother and I were taken to the deck, when the ship has already taken a dangerous slope. There was a sea turbulence, 6-7 Beaufort, making it very difficult to board the boats that had already been launched. My mother went down the aisle and jumped into the boat as the wave lifted her. It was impossible for me to get on the boat and I was hugged by a mariner and the moment the waves hit the ship, he threw me in the air and caught the crew members who had already boarded.

We boarded the Polish ship that vaccinated us, my father with Cp Thanassis Voulieris, his partner, were the last to stay on the ship in their attempt to save it. When they were no longer able to do so and because of the SOS that the ship had launched, a small English ship sent a boat to rescue them. I remember seeing the ship sink in the sea. My father and I spoke the same day later on the radio. We finally met after 2 days when the ships that rescued us arrived at the port of Rotterdam. Of course, in Greece, where the media announced the sinking of the ship, panic prevailed among friends and relatives, until we contacted them to tell them we were well. The above, for as long as I live, will remain strongly etched in my memory.

During your business career and in your life in general, you have had many meetings with important personalities. What are the ones that are etched in your memory and why?

Clearly there are 5 meetings:

A) The first one, when i was a student, in the late 80's, when I met the President of the Revolutionary Government, Jerry Rawlings, a young pilot, in Ghana, perhaps one of the best pilots in Africa. They were saying that he was landing a warplane on a dirt road in the jungle. The political situation in Ghana at the time was dire, as the revolutionary government overthrew the previous military regime that was a close to the West, at the height of the Cold War, between the then two superpowers, the United States and Russia. The new revolutionary government changed its international political orientation and was supported politically, economically, and militarily by the then Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. So, I presented myself to the President of the country, who accepted me because I was one of the few Western citizens who were then in Ghana and asked him to give me the agency of the then state-owned shipyards of Ghana. Jerry Rawlings, in the presence of his associates, looked at me intently and then, after smiling, said to me: “Only a young Greek, and at your age, could come here and ask me for something like that. However, because I respect your courage and I discern your determination and your faith in what you want to do, I will give the necessary instructions to have a positive response to your request". For historical reasons, for a long time in the 1980s, Ghana was under embargo on basic goods and oil. After the signing of the agreement with the Tema shipyards, I was able to successfully build two ships of a well-known Greek shipowner, under very difficult circumstances, thus relocating Tema's shipyards to the international shipping firm. As they were the first Western ships to be tanked after the revolution, thus opening the road for the rest.

B) The meeting I had in the mid-90s at a young age also, with Loukas Hatziioannou, owner of TROODOS SHIPPING. One of the largest tanker company in the world, which at that time, was facing significant problems with the operation of its tankers in Nigeria. In the meeting was and his son Polly, the current owner of the airline EasyJet and it took place at his home in Neo Psychiko. There was also the retired officer P.N. Tsiskakis Eleftherios, who arranged the meeting. During the discussion, this great shipowner set me the terms of our cooperation with which I disagreed.I formulated and set the terms of our cooperation, on my own basis and with the clause of take or leave it. At this point the meeting ended, and we were leaving with the pardoned Lefteris Tsiskakis when Loukas Hatziioannou came out with a quick step to catch us and said: “Well done young man. Congratulations, because you have guts and you will go ahead with your life". A few days later, I received a phone call from the financial director of TROODOS SHIPPING who literally told me: "Mr. Hatziioannou accepts and agrees with your terms." Thus began a lucrative and beneficial partnership between the two sides.

C) The meeting I had in 2005 with the then President of the Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos. What impressed me about this politician was his simplicity, his modesty, his humility and the insight of his mind. I remember characteristically it was Tuesday when I called the Presidential Palace and talked to the director of his office and requested a meeting with him to inform him of matters within my competence. As is customary in these cases, the strict and clear protocol of the Presidency of the Republic had to be observed. Instead, just two hours after my first phone call, the director of his office called me and told me that the President would be waiting for me the next day at 10:00 at the Presidential Palace. I went and we had a long conversation where, to my surprise, the President himself, in violation of each protocol, served me coffee and snack.

D) With memorable ethnarch Konstantinos Karamanlis with whom we maintained friendly, family relations. So I remember when I was a young student in elementary school when he visited us. As soon as I saw him, I was impressed by his imposing demeanor and I went and kissed his hand, so laughing he took me in his arms and said: “I am not a priest, don't kiss my hand. It's good to be respected because when you respect others, they respect you too."

E) With the then Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis and the father of the current Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who accepted me in his office on Aravantinou Street. What impressed me from this meeting was the ability of Konstantinos Mitsotakis to compose and to predict future events and developments in the field of geostrategy and geopolitics as well as in the field of economics. Historians rightly include him among the leading and charismatic Greek politicians of the 20th century.

What is the subject of your academic studies?

It is my main principle to engaged with business that I have the corresponding field of knowledge. So:

• I studied Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business
• Legal at Universite Paris 13 - Sorbonne Paris Cite
• Tourism at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
• Shipping at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and in various educational programs in respective bodies such as ELKEPA, in the school of rescue equipment of Aspropyrgos, in KESEN, as I am the holder of a maritime brochure and certificates of seamanship for all types of ships (passenger, RO - RO, trucks, tankers, etc.).

Do you want to tell us what areas of Shipping you are dealing with?

Our group of companies consists of the following:

1. KRITIKOSESSHIPPINGLINESMARITIME COMPANY– GREECE
2. POSIDONIASHIPPING& TRADING(LIB) S.A.
3. POSIDONIASHIPTRADE& SHIPBROKERS (CY) LTD
4. KRITIKOSMARITIMESERVICES(GB) LTD
5. KRITIKOSSHIPPINGAGENCIES(GH) LTD
6. POSIDONIACO.(GH) LTD
7. POSIDONIACO(NIG) LTD


It has the following objects of activity such as ship ownership, ship management, agency, chartering, buying and selling. Their big advantage lies in the high-level services it offers in West Africa in shipping, ship repairs, oil, food, cargo exports to Ghana and Nigeria. Under our ownership are 4 Mini Cruisers and under our management, at intervals, Mini Bulkers and Handysize Bulkers. 

Apart from shipping, do you work professionally in other fields as well?

Of course, because this is my main strategic choice, so we are active in the field of tourism, having in the Dodecanese and especially on the island of Kos a family boutique hotel GARDEN CITY IMAGE. In the area of catering, i have a Snack Bar - Restaurant that has a swimming pool, swimming spa, beach volley field of Olympic dimensions etc. I also have a company for renting bicycles, motorcycles and cars named EURODUCK RENTALS. Based on my academic studies, I deal with Banking - Economics, on behalf of individuals and corporations, I compile either actuarial or technical-economic reports which are the part of the lawsuits filed against the banks. I conduct assessments and conduct commercial assessments. I undertake the restructuring of problematic companies, in order to make them viable.

You are one of the founding, leading executives who started the Borrowers - Consumers Federation in Greece. What was that led you to this move?

When I was a teenager, I remember my father, in the years following the great recession of 1985, when he was in financial trouble. So, he was late in repaying some of the minimal loan obligations he had undertaken, and he was forced, for a loan of 1 million drachmas due to the delay in repaying, to pay almost 9 million drachmas. This fact created a lot of anger and rage, I felt it was a terrible injustice and in fact it was about legal bank interest, the famous upper bank interests. The above led me to follow Financial studies, which was my first field of studies.

In your opinion, what could be the effects on Greek and World Shipping due to the pandemic of coronavirus (Coronavirus COVID -19)?

Shipping is the second largest pillar of support for the national economy, both in terms of employment and imports of hard currency. The pandemic has caused international turmoil both in the operation of ports and in the movement of containers and bulk goods. Internationally, there is a reduction in ship and cargo approaches to ports with a percentage that starts at 20% and reaches up to 70%. Indicatively, Italy is already facing a very serious problem as a large number of merchant ships refuse to approach Italian ports either to load or to deliver goods, because they are then quarantined for 15 days and it is forbidden to approach any port. A large number of countries and indicatively we mention France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, etc. have banned the entry of Italian merchant ships into their ports. Temporary mobility is observed in the field of tankers as oil-producing countries, oil traders and refineries buy large quantities of oil due to falling oil prices and stockpile them in tankers in order to then normalize prices or take advantage of the situation. However, this mobility due to reserve reasons will last for a short period of time. Emerging long-term arrhythmia in international commodity markets is more than likely to affect the level of employment of dry cargo ships. The above in combination with the downfall of passenger traffic in coastal shipping at a rate approaching 80% and in combination with the zeroing of passenger traffic in the cruise sector, yachts, passenger - tourist boats creates a nightmarish situation in the sector of employment, sailors and revenue. Shipping with all its sectors, annually contributes with a percentage of 7% to 9% in the country's GDP. Personal assessment is also subject to the necessary conditions:
a) that a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will not occur from October 2020 and
b) that in the coming months, either a vaccine that creates immunity in the general population will be found or pharmaceutical treatment will be found, then the situation in global maritime transport will be normalized in the second half of 2021

In your opinion, what could be the effects on the Greek Tourism Industry due to the pandemic of corona (Coronavirus COVID -19)?

According to many, the country's heavy industry. The sensitive product of Tourism depends on the following factors:
• Normal conditions
• Feeling of security
• Good psychology
• Disposable income
As it is understood from the reading of the above factors alone, none of the above conditions will exist or will coexist for the next 2-3 years internationally.
Practically and in numbers the above are denatured as follows:
• The Greek tourism sector employs about 25% - 30% of the total employment, which practically translates to about 800,000 people employed either directly or indirectly.
• The tourist product annually contributes to the liquidity of the Greek economy by importing 18 billion euros in foreign exchange.
• Therefore, to understand the magnitude of the problem, a reduction of the relevant revenues by 20% would reduce the GDP by about 2,5%. For every 1 billion euros lost by tourism, the GDP will decrease by 0.6 points. For example, if the 12 billion euros are lost from the approximately 18 billion euros of revenues that we had in 2019, the economy will be in recession, losing at least 7,2 percentage points. If all tourism revenues are lost, meaning 18 billion euros, as is highly probable, then the economy will lose 10,8 percentage points of GDP, entering a period of deep recession.
Forecast for the tourist season 2020:
• Reduction of the percentage of tourism to a cataclysmic percentage of 90% to 95%.
Forecast for the tourist season 2021:
• Reduction of the percentage of tourism to an overwhelming percentage of at least 50%. Preferential customers of Greek tourism are tourists from Italy, Germany, England, America (in the field of cruising), the Netherlands, Austria, China. In most of the above countries, the health crisis will peak in May and June 2020, while the bans will continue for a sufficient period, e.g. in the UK. The tourism that comes from the above countries corresponds to approximately 80% to 85% of the total tourism of Greece.
It should be borne in mind that in all the above affected countries, emphasis will be placed on domestic tourism for the following reasons:
• Because the average citizen of any country will feel a heightened sense of security if he moves within his country, by road and is not exposed to risks through multiple and combined transport, i.e. either by air and by road or by air and by ferry, etc.
• Because he will feel an increased sense of security if he is close to his country's health structures. • Because it is highly probable that the governments of the above affected countries will want to strengthen and boost domestic tourism for the following reasons:
• To strengthen their domestic tourism industry, which is similarly affected.
• To stimulate their internal demand and consumption.
Practically 800.000 employed workers directly and indirectly in the field of tourism at least 3 protected members each family i.e. about a population sample of 2.500.000 people for the tourist season 2020 and most likely in the tourist season 2021 will be found with zero income and to survive will need state aid, aid, subsidy.

What do you consider to be the most important distinction you have made so far in your career?

As the most important distinction so far in my professional and academic career, I consider the fact that in 2007-2008 I was voted by a group of Swiss historians and academics, as one of the most important personalities of modern Greece, whose actions influence social, political, and economic developments. Therefore, my CV is included in the world-renowned Swiss encyclopedia of personalities "WHO IS WHO".

 

Odysseus is called the elegant "small cruise ship" of Vangelis Kritikos, which is already in our harbor and is ready to solve the ghouls within days for his first trips to the surrounding islands. It is a fully refurbished ship with a protocol of 100 passengers to make excursions to the islands around Kos. In addition to the indoor and outdoor spaces, the lounge and the bar for a comfortable trip, the staff will offer quality service, reminiscent of a mini cruise ship for one-day cruises. We wish friend Vaggelis, Captain and all staff, good seas and good trips.

 

    An emblematic personality of Greek Commercial Shipping

   Spyros Kritikos was a child who grew up in the midst of the German occupation. Grew up in very difficult conditions during World War II, when his beloved mother Kalliopi died during the occupation leaving him orphan. During these years of Germans occupation, Eleni, a young girl, his smaller sister died and from the whole family only he and his brother George remained. Together they made career to Greek Merchant Navy. His father Vangelis escaped because he was being chased by dictator Metaxas. His difficult childhood years, which deprived him of his childhood and his parents, gave him the strength to become a life-fighter and to succeed. He studied alone, working at the same time, becoming an officer of the merchant navy. An chief engineer where he made his first barge on the legendary liberty ships. Then, he became an important part of shipowner Livanos, by going to Japan in the 1960s, overseeing and taking over the company's newly built ships. In the 1960s and fully aware of what he was doing for a long time and for as long as the Vietnam War lasted, Spiros Kritikos, aware of the danger to both himself and his family, broke the American Naval forces blockade that had imposed on northern Vietnam, at the port of Saigon, delivering ammunition, food, medicine supplies, and at the same time repairing hospital generators destroyed by US bombs. Also donating his ship's generator to a hospital, thus saving thousands of civilians, mainly elderly and young children. His action was honored at the time by government officials at the port of Saigon, but also at his death, with the presence of the Vietnamese Ambassador to Greece, Mr Nguyen Manh Cuong, who talked at his funeral and expressed the gratitude of the government of Vietnam for the services that he offered to the people of Vietnam. He survived three shipwrecks with a ship-refrigerator of shipowner Livanos in the 1960s when a crew of 3 survived, he and two others holding onto a pontoon. In the 1970s he survived the Garden City shipwreck, a cargo-passenger vessel at the sea area of Amsterdam port. In the same shipwreck were Captain Thanasis, his best friend, associate and brother. The third shipwreck was in the 1980s, with his own ship IOANNIS, where he was again aboard with Captain Thanasis. He also survived a plane crash, when one of the propellers of the aircraft caught fire and the pilot made a forced landing. Somewhere there was also the great leap that characterized the course of modern Greek shipping, where captains and engineers became shipowners. So, he bought his own ships by plowing the seas, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Red Sea, UK Condiment, West Africa, transporting all kinds of goods.

    M/V NIKOLIS

    M/V IOANNIS

    S/S KALLIOPI (he gave the name of his beloved mother)

   Concerned indeed, he expanded his business activities in the tourism sector in the Dodecanese by establishing a hotel unit, a car and motorcycle rental business and a number of tourism businesses.

He remained active until the end of his life.

The newspaper Maritime Economies in its 8 years of circulation and in its 6 months of subscription circulation really contributed to the information of the shipping and maritime world of Greece. It has offered and continues to provide important shipping news that helps participants in the becoming of Greek commercial shipping, to have a early, valid, clear information that helps them significantly in making critical and important decisions, for shipping companies, naval companies and for the fleet they manage at any legal form. It is important that Maritime Economies, among others, offers its readers economic news, financial analysis, political articles by valid analysts, all of which in combination offer a comprehensive view of the international situation in shipping, which is essential because shipping is an internationalized activity. Maritime Economies is a highly successful publication of its kind.

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