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SpeedFerries talks due to resume

Talks may resume tomorrow (Wednesday) to resolve a dispute which resulted in the SpeedFerries craft Speed One being detained at the port of Boulogne.

The fast ferry was impounded just after 5pm on Thursday over non-payment of Boulogne port dues and taxes.

“The arrest was totally unexpected, as the authorities had given written confirmation that no legal steps would be taken prior to a meeting planned for Friday,” said SpeedFerries’ chief executive Curt Stavis.

“At this meeting SpeedFerries, in consultation with our bankers and financial advisors, were to present a proposal for a resolution of the issues, as well as disputes with the port regarding substantial counterclaims towards the port which have been entirely ignored by the French authorities, and serious competition and discriminatory issues in relation to the port’s dealings with a French ferry operator preparing to start-up a Dover-Boulogne service.”

LD Lines is due to start a new service between Dover and Boulogne next summer.

“As the actions of the Boulogne port authorities are now proven to be unpredictable and inconsistent with their given guarantees, SpeedFerries finds itself in a position where it is unable to inform its customers, employees or business partners, of a firm date for the resumption of services.”

Talks over the weekend came to nothing and today is a public holiday in France, so it is hoped that discussions will resume tomorrow.

SpeedFerries has been operating between Dover and Boulogne since May 2004 but has never succeeded in consolidating its position through the addition of a second vessel.

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