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Maritime correspondent Justin Stares has carved out a niche for himself as the industry specialist in Brussels and the EC. Here he assesses the reign of Siim Kallas, who has been the EC’s transport commissioner for the past five years, and frankly, it’s not very positive. On almost every big issue – emissions regulations, rules on armed guards and passenger ship safety in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster – Mr Kallas has deferred to the IMO. Which may, in hindsight, be the right decision but begs the question: what’s the point of EC transport commissioner holding any powers whatsoever over the maritime industry if he’s not going to use them?

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