According to an article in the Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”, during the past 20 years a huge number of wooden boats have been destroyed with the approval of the Greek state and the European Union, including sailing boats, trawlers, fishing boats, and caiques. Over the course of only a quarter of an hour, these objects of navigation art, whose history dates back 2,500 years, have been destroyed.
Europe offers large compensations to the fishermen who choose to retire from fishing, on condition that they agree to destroy their boats. Under the scope of the Common Fishing Policy, such economic motivations are offered in order to limit fishing in the European seas. From the 1990s, more than 500o boats have been destroyed in Greece, the highest number among the European countries.
As a result of this action, objects of our cultural heritage and the history of Greek navigation are being destroyed.
As president of The Cultural Association of Traditional Boats Nikos Kavallieros claims, from 1999, they have been sending letters to the Ministers of Culture and Navigation, proposing alternative solutions, but nobody was interested. In addition, traditional boats are taxed the same as modern and faster boats of equal size. As a result, nobody is buying traditional boats anymore.
A solution to this issue could be a museum where these boats could be exhibited to Greek and foreign tourists.
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