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Georgian officials confuse Genoa and Marseille2010-07-26 16:56
Yesterday Georgian sailors working on Jasmine vessel under the Georgian flag launched a protest in Marseille refusing to leave France until they get paid by the Italian ship-owner. However, Georgian government reports that the ship reached Genoa where the crew was assisted by Italian trade unions. In the meantime, an inspector of the International Transporter Federation in Genoa claims to know nothing of the situation while a French inspector told GeorgiaTimes that the vessel is still in Marseille. We tried to puzzle out why the Georgian officials confused the ports and countries, and what promises does sailing under the Georgian flag offer?
Marseille has seen a lot over its long and stormy life as a port but never before has it been called Genoa. All Georgian media followed by Russian news agencies reported that Jasmine ship sailing under the Georgian flag had been detained in the port of Genoa for overtonnage.
As Rustavi-2 informed, in Marseille where the ship came from, the total volume of loaded wheat exceeded permissible amount by 100 tons which made the Marine Administration of Genoa fine the owner. Simultaneously the vessel's crew demanded half-a-year's salary - nearly EUR 100 thousand.
The government asked TV viewers not to worry since the Georgian side is in touch with the crew assisted by the sailors' trade union of Italy.
There was only one thing that looks strange in this story: before that the media were reporting on problems of Georgian seamen not in Genoa, but in Marseille, where the vessel was detained because of the fine for overload and the crew on strike.
So where did the Georgian citizens get in a mess - in Genoa, as Georgian officials state, or in Marseille?
As GeorgiaTimes found out, Francesco di Fiore, ITF inspector in Genoa knows nothing about Jasmine vessel or Georgian sailors. Nobody has contacted him. However, his colleague Yves Reynaud in Marseille confirmed that the federation's branch in France is now holding talks with the lawyers of the ship-owner. The agreement has not been reached yet, though the story is drawing to a happy end.
Answering the question whether the Jasmine had left for Genoa, Yves Reynaud said that the ship's next destination is the port of Corinth (Greece), where the ship will sail when the salary issues are settled down.