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29.Nov.2002 Stop the Bryzantio NOW



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Please act now

to prevent yet another „oil“ disaster.

The Prestige,

which broke in half and sank

off the coast of Spain

in the third week of November,

was an aging oil tanker

operating under a

"flag of convenience"

- registered with a nation unconnected with its owners to avoid or reduce regulation.

Now the owner of the thousands of tonnes of spilled oil,

Clrown Resources,

has loaded more fuel oil

on another

dilapidated tanker,

the Bryzantio.

The Byzantio

is also a flag of convenience vessel

(this time registered with Malta).

It is currently in port in Estonia +

is destined for



by Radagast 03:03 PM


Update (11 pm) -

The Byzantio has now left port.

In the end we were able to delay it

for 5 hours


09.Jan.2000 Our 'flag of convenience'-The Malta Independent on Sunday

- Issue No. 394 -Sunday


There is no doubt that Malta's maritime industry has been an outstanding success

and its ship register is in fact the world's fourth largest in the world

with a gross tonnage of almost 26 million

under the Maltese flag.


our so-called "flag of convenience"

has been subject to severe criticism

by the international press

and to a certain extent,

by the local press,

in the aftermath of the

Maltese- registered Erika tanker disaster

off the French coast.

This was an ecological disaster of huge proportions:

the 590-foot tanker

split in two

in the Bay of Biscay

spilling part of

its 25,000 tonnes of fuel oil

into the

sea causing a severe disruption

to the area's


Should Malta assume part of the responsibility for this disaster?

Should the Maltese government have shown a little more solidarity

with France

as soon as the disaster occurred?

What type of standards are enforced by our maritime authorities?

Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami

has defended the Malta ship register

saying that

it had carried out

all its responsibilities


Should we therefore just consider this episode closed?

Before going further

one should perhaps recall

what the 1999

European Commission updated report on Malta

had stated on our ship register:

"Maritime Transport is a key issue for Malta and

full implementation of the community acquis

is still some distance away.

Conditions for setting up shipping companies in Malta and

obtaining the Maltese flag

are less stringent

than those generally applied

by member States.

As far as implementation is concerned,

Malta still does not apply certain key safety and

pollution standards

and progress is urgently needed.

The poor safety performance of

vessels on the Maltese register

is a matter of concern.

The improvement of the flag State administration remains a priority.

A sound strategy needs to be put in place

in order to remove

substandard shipping

from the register."

There can be no doubt that

a number of improvements are needed

in the way standards are enforced

on Maltese registered ships.

For a government that is seeking to take Malta into the European Union and

which often praises European Union standards,

such a report by the European commission

cannot be ignored.

For example,


the Erika


The Malta Independent



that corrosion was found on the vessel's structure

during an inspection

two years ago

in Holland and

more corrosion was found in another inspection

in Norway

six months later.


a check carried out

by Russian inspectors

one month before the accident

failed to report any evidence of corrosion.

It is well known that

France has been very upset by Malta's silence

on the

Erika incident.

It took almost one month for

our Foreign Minister

to call on the French Ambassador and

express Malta's solidarity with the French people

over this ecological disaster.

The French Ambassador

had already made it clear in an interview

with The Malta Independent

that he was both surprised and upset by Malta's silence.

Besides refusing to admit

that there are some problems with our ship register,

the government also handled the Erika episode badly

from a public relations point of view.

What would it have cost

to send over 100 Maltese soldiers

or civil protection officials

to help clean up the massive oil spill

off the French coast?

What would it have cost

to express the nation's sorrow and regret

and to announce an inquiry

as soon as news of the incident was known?

Burying our head in the sand

will get us nowhere.

It could only strain relations with France,

a country so essential in our bid for EU membership.

The government must be realistic about Malta's ship register.

Being equated with Liberia and Panama

and being the fourth largest ship register in the world

is no particular honour

if proper standards are not enforced.

Sooner or later

Malta will have to come to terms with reality,

especially in view of the implementation of certain requirements

which have to be enforced

once we join the European Union.

Less speeches please

It is unfortunate

that our country's leaders

felt the need to make rather long- winded and

unnecessary speeches

as the new millennium approached.

First there were three speeches inside St. James Cavalier

lasting 45 minutes

while thousands of people waited outside

to get a glimpse of our new Arts Centre.

Then at a quarter to midnight

in Floriana

as everyone was getting into a festive mood

the Archbishop,

the President

and the Prime Minister

felt to need to make another speech each,

and this was not appreciated

by the crowd.

On both occasions the people gathered

actually began to boo the speakers -

a first for Malta.

Perhaps this should be taken as a sign

that Malta has changed

and we no longer want politicians

and the Church

to dominate our lives

in the way

that they have done

over the years.

As we start the new millennium

can we please have less speeches and less politics in our everyday lives?

The Malta Independent on Sunday

is published by

Standard Publications Ltd,

Standard House Birkirkara Hill,

St Julian’s STJ 09.

Telephone 345888

Fax 344884, 346062

Editor: Anthony Manduca


JP Morgan Chase Bank presented Alfa Bank with Quality Recognition Award

17 Oct 2002



Alfa Bank


JP Morgan Chase Bank

held a meeting

at which

Alfa Bank

was presented with

JP Morgan Chase Quality Recognition Award.

The meeting was attended by

Maxim Topper,

Head of International Division,



Steve Wilder,

Member of the Board of Directors,

JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Mr. Wilder

is an

executive vice-president of

JP Morgan Chase Bank for


(Europe, Middle East and Africa).



During the meeting Steve Wilder stated that Alfa Bank had been named “one of the best” banks among all correspondent banks of JP Morgan Chase Bank throughout the world (6,000 banks) in terms of the quality of USD clearing payments for the year 2001, in which connection Mr. Wilder presented representatives of Alfa Bank with Quality Recognition Award.

Commenting on the event, Maxim Topper said that the award by JP Morgan Chase Bank demonstrates a high degree of appreciation for Alfa Bank’s work in this important area of the financial market — “We are confident that the noted professionalism of the Alfa-Bank’s payments team will continue to satisfy the highest international standards and hope that we will be able to remain worthy of this great praise from such an authoritative financial institution as JP Morgan Chase Bank for years to come”.

During the meeting Alfa Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank discussed their current relationship and prospects for further development.

Alfa Bank has won numerous press awards, including Euromoney Best Bank in Russia 2002, Global Finance’s Best Russian Bank in 2002 and Best Trade Finance Russian Bank in 2002, Bank of the Year 2000 in The Banker.

Alfa Bank Group

Founded in 1990,

Alfa Bank has developed rapidly to become Russia’s largest privately owned bank.

It provides a full range of banking services —

commercial banking,

investment banking,

asset management,

trade finance and


The Bank has more than 70 branches over nine time zones in


Ukraine and

Kazakhstan and

subsidiaries in the

United Kingdom, the

United States and the


Prior to joining

Alfa Group,

Mr. Robinson, b.26 May 1967-

was s senior manager in the audit and business advisory group at


(formerly Price Waterhouse) and

spent 6 years with


in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Mr. Robinson is a

British qualified Chartered Accountant

and a member of the

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

He graduated from the

Accounting Faculty of Norwich City Institute in the UK.

Mr. Robinson was born in Corringham, England on

26 May 1967.


Svetlana Smirnova

Media and International Public Relations Manager

Tel: +7(095) 785-9650

Fax: +7(095) 788-6981


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