This is the story of the Aiud, the Frunzanesti, the Odessa, the City of Virginia, ships arriving mainly from Eastern Europe, seized and anchored in Western ports that they will never leave.
Those abandoned ships and forgotten crews, victims of unscrupulous owners or of national shipping companies submerged by debt, are an increasingly dramatic reality.
It is known as “divestment of ships and crews at zero cost”: creditors have the ship confiscated and in practice, the crews are segregated aboard, without permission to go ashore, without wages, without food, ghosts in the ghost.
Inadequate legislation means that the crews are stranded on these ships, hostages of the ports where they are moored, and with no rights to speak of.
To abandon ship without the agreement of the defaulting ship owner would mean losing the right to their salaries, they would become illegal immigrants in Italy and deserters of their homeland.
Today, in Italy, there are about 15 seized ships in various ports, and many of them are blocked by more then a year.