Shipping : Estonia turns its back on the sea

29 September 2009 – Presseurop Postimees

Fifteen years after the MS Estonia cruise ferry sank in the Baltic Sea on 28 September 1994, claiming 852 lives, “we still do not know what really caused the disaster,” regrets Postimees, excoriating the governments, especially the Swedish, for their unwillingness to investigate the wreckage. “But that is not all,” adds the Estonian daily: “the shadow of the wreck still looms over the Estonian shipping industry.” Ever since the colossal maritime disaster, “Estonian society has turned its back on the sea,” writes Mairold Vaik, a seaman, in an opinion piece. “On festive occasions we like to give ourselves a nice name – that of a seafaring nation –, we don’t have a strong shipping sector (…). Government subsidies to the shipping sector are but a fraction of those doled out to farming.” Nowadays, bemoans Vaik, “shipping companies prefer to sail under foreign flags.”

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