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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
04/02/19 10:51

Grimaldi: “If the penalty inflicted by Competition and market authorities is confirmed, the Tirrenia convention will cease”

The Neapolitan shipping company replied to Onorato denying his accusations regarding debts and non-EU seafarers: “We employ only EU seafarers on European routes”

If administrative courts confirm the 29 million penalty inflicted by Competition and Market authorities on Moby and Tirrenia, the current convention will cease.

This is the latest statement made by the Grimaldi Group as concerns the long-standing controversy with Onorato, which grew worse following the recent declarations of Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports Danilo Toninelli about Tirrenia's monopoly in Sardinia and about the Italian government’s intention to stop it.

The Naples-based corporation confirmed its support to Toninelli, defining him as a “victim, together with Confitarma President Mario Mattioli, of another media attack launched by Vincenzo Onorato”.

According to Grimaldi, Onorato is “troubled” for several reasons: “his corporate bond is at 37.9 cents (far less than half of its issuance value), Competition and Market authorities inflicted a 29 million euro penalty on the Group due to abuse of a dominant position and unfair competition, market shares dropped, losses are increasing significantly, the CIN-Moby merger devised to confound financial markets and creditors was prevented”. Despite all this, however, Grimaldi explained that “it cannot comment the groundless and slanderous news reported by him”.

This clearly refers to the accusation recently launched by Moby's and Tirrenia's owner, who held that Grimaldi “is a debt-ridden group that uses social dumping on international and national routes employing non-EU seafarers in order to fulfil its financial obligations”.

Obviously, Grimaldi denied the charges, pointing out that: “our group’s fleet consists of 115 owned ships, 51 of which do not have debts at all. It boasts a 3 billion euro turnover, as well as 15,000 employees worldwide, 12,000 of whom are European”. Finally, the company’s “investments/indebtedness ratio is one of the most prudent within our sector at a global level”.

As concerns the crew issue, Grimaldi added that “our 27 freight/passengers ships managed with the trademarks Grimaldi Lines, Finnlines and Minoan Lines on European routes employ over 4,000 EU seafarers. The crews of our 90 ro-ro freight, car carrier and con-ro ships, mainly employed on transoceanic routes, consist of mainly European seafarers, definitely outnumbering the number of EU seafarers provided for by Italian and international regulations”.

According to Grimaldi, Onorato is concerned also for the 29 million euro penalty inflicted by Competition and Market authorities on Moby and Tirrenia for abuse of a dominant position on freight connections between Sardinia and Italy, whose effectiveness was suspended by the Lazio Regional Administrative Court, which will decide on the merits of Onorato’s appeal next May.

Grimaldi held that “according to case-law, as soon as the penalty for dominant position and unfair competition is confirmed, the convention should automatically cease due to noncompliance with public service obligations”.

Finally, Grimaldi hopes that “in order to ensure territorial continuity, the Spanish model will be adopted, granting the subsidy in the form of a direct contribution to consumers, in an equitable and democratic way, respectful of competitive balances. In this way, Sardinian people will finally be able to freely choose the carrier to transport their freights or to travel, thus favouring market, efficiency, common sense and good government.