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  • Writer's pictureMare Greco

George Tsavliris: We are not talking about substituting the human being, we refer to supplementing.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has been a long day for all of us, so I will just summarise and try to be short and sweet but transparent, and without wanting to sound too controversial. Since this morning, we have had a lot of renowned speakers who have given us all their words of wisdoms and particularly Martin Stopford whom I have always admired for the last 40 years, who gives us the advice and sometimes ship owners listen to what he has to say and do the opposite. George Pateras and George Gourdomichalis who always has a colourful way of actually expressing himself and being always with the powers of persuasion which he always had.

I just want to mention two key points which I find have being highlighting in the course of the day, at least with my interpretation: Earlier on, we heard about the perception of artificial intelligence and perhaps because I am more romantic and emotional and passionate about my work, I think that one should always refer to the emotional intelligence which keeps us alive and surviving in this business.

The second aspect is because I saw a confrontation earlier on about whether the mechanism and automation and machinery are going to take over or substitute the human being, I need to say that I fundamentally disagree with that.

The big issue, what are we going to refer to is the two “s”.

We are not talking about substituting the human being, we refer to supplementing. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an issue which sometimes we can get confused with.

Another aspect which you talked about is the environment, sulphur caps, CO2 emissions.

What about referring to the fact that hardly we ever hear in shipping conferences, what disasters has this brought about by livestock?

Ladies and gentlemen, you enjoy your stake. Are you aware of the fact that the livestock industry is responsible for in excess of 32.6 billion tons of CO2 per year?

So, basically, on that particular point, ladies and gentlemen, with your filet steaks you are basically cooking this planet.

We have heard a lot of aspects about the sulphur cap and the way to handle it with a lot of people going to the element of using scrubbers. I gave a presentation a couple of years ago in Copenhagen, almost got lynched.

Because I came up and gave a presentation and put a PowerPoint on the wall and I said, this is the Bloody Mary. A Bloody Mary has got two main ingredients, vodka and tomato juice.

And the next slide was a picture of a scrubber, and I think the scrubber has got two main ingredients, ignorance and hypocrisy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Even though we have seen the scrubbers do make financial sense, it is basically a financial exercise and it can have nothing to do with the idea of actually protecting our environment, for the simple reason it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that you are not going to be protecting the environment when you take sulphur out of the air and throw it into the sea.

But nevertheless, for those in the shipping industry who have chosen scrubbers, provided that they work and they can overcome all the technical difficulties in running it, which is a bit of a nightmare by the way, they have done a good deal because basically what used to be a payback about four-five years, now you can do it four-five months because of the differential between the 300 dollars a time.

I will not keep you anymore. I just want to end up by again referring to my romanticism and I am going to quote a poet by the name of Christianopoulos Dinos.

Dinos Christianopoulos is a well-known poet and is also part of the “παρέα του Τσιτσάνη” (friends of Tsitsanis).

As you probably know, my Wife is the granddaughter of Tsitsanis, so also maybe part of the reason why I am here is to boost my romanticism, my passion for life and music, and that is why I will also quote him, because I think it is very relevant to all the people who are involved with the sea.

And he mentioned the following:

H θάλασσα είναι σαν τον έρωτα, χίλιοι τη χαίρονται και ένας την πληρώνει”.

“The sea is like a love affair, a thousand people enjoy the love affair, and one of us pays for it”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for having me, thanks for listening to me, and thank you to the organizer, thank you.

Mr George A. Tsavliris was born in London. He graduated from Athens College in 1968 and having acquired professional qualifications in Shipping (F.I.C.S., ACI.Arb), he concluded his graduate and post graduate studies in Shipping Law at University College London in 1973, with an L.L.M. degree. In 2009 he was qualified as a Mediator at the ADR Group London and in 2014 was certified as a Mediator by the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.

He familiarized himself with the shipping and salvage sectors from a very early age by being engaged in the family business.

George is a Principal at “Tsavliris Salvage Group” and represents the business on both a commercial and environmental basis internationally.

He holds the position of Past Chairman of INTERMEPA (International Marine Environment Protection Association), Chairman of CYMEPA (Cyprus Marine Environmental Protection Association), which received the “Cyprus Maritime Prize 2007”, as well as member of the Board of Directors of Cyprus Union of Shipowners, Board Member of ECSA (European Community Shipowners’ Associations), Board Member of The Yacht Club of Greece, Board Member of Friends of Hellas Liberty Association and the Jubilee Sailing Trust in the UK and Honorary Chairman of the Tsavliris Cultural Foundation.

Furthermore, Mr. George Tsavliris is Member of the Academic Board of Metropolitan College / Solent Southampton University.

Mr George Tsavliris was awarded the 2016 Capital Link Greek Shipping Leadership Award, in recognition of his unique and extensive contribution to Shipping and Greece and for his overall outstanding service to the shipping industry made by him individually, as a family and by his company as a Group.

In Jan 2019, Mr Tsavliris received the Cyprus Environmental Award on behalf of CYMEPA by the President of the Cypriot Republic Mr Nikos Anastasiades and on March 12th, 2019, Mr Tsavliris was recognized with the Safety4Sea Leadership Award 2019 for his work with CYMEPA and other national & international organizations, toward the protection of the marine environment.

Most recently, Mr Tsavliris was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of SSL Endeavour Insurance Brokers Cyprus & Greece.

George is a frequent keynote speaker and panelist at numerous maritime related conferences.

He is an avid supporter of various charities, an art and music enthusiast and has completed ten London marathons.

He is a father of six children.

George A. Tsavliris's full speech:


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