Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Ferry For Sale - One Careless Owner
And talking of floaters, my Belgian spies have alerted me to the fact that one of the two old TransEuropa tubs that's rotting away in Ostend is being put up for auction this month.
Bidding on The Gardenia takes place at the Hotel/Restaurant Weinebrugge on Saturday 14th September at 2pm. So, er, do pop along if you fancy grabbing yourself a rusty bargain.
It's worth reading the small print, though, since there's a whole list of debtors attached to the sale, amounting to some 5m Eurowhatsits of prejudged charges on a ship that's probably not worth much more than a mill. Strange, though, that despite the Port of Ostend, a number of Belgian companies, and sailor types (who are presumably attempting to claim back unpaid wages) attached as having a charge over The Gardenia, there's not a single mention of Thanet Council or the Port of Ramsgate being owed a bob or two. So what's going on there, then?
The Ostenders reckon they're owed €2.5m by the defunct ferry line, which, they say, is about the same as us Fannit taxpayers are out of pocket. Although my calculator makes that about £2.1m, way short of the £3.4m that Thanet Duffer Central has fessed up to so far. And not even a chance to make some back on the auction. Kuh!
Meanwhile, I see from my copy of Krant Van West-Vlaanderen that Ostend Council are, not surprisingly, vexed about the €25,000 a month it's costing them to keep The Gardenia, and its sister rustbucket The Larkspur, moored up in their lovely port. Each ship apparently has to have a three man safety crew on board, and there are other costs such as popping the odd Euro in the lecky meter. All of which is coming out of the public purse. The Krant Van West-Vlaanderen also mentions there have been talks about restarting an Ostend-Ramsgate service. Apparently 'there may be Italians or Greeks interested'. Yep, I'll believe that one when I see it!
Click here to read the notice of the Gardenia auction in Ostend.
Click here to read the TransEuropa article in Krant Van West-Vlaanderen