Swiss firm cancels Gaza flotilla group's cement order

AFP , Wednesday 6 Jul 2011

A Swiss company cancels cement shipment for aid flotilla for Gaza ordered by European activists

A Swiss firm has cancelled a 3,000-tonne cement order by activists involved in the aid flotilla for Gaza largely thwarted by the Greek authorities, Swedish activists said Wednesday.

In an email to the Ship to Gaza Sweden campaign dated Tuesday, Interbulk trading cited the Greek foreign ministry ruling banning vessels bound for Gaza leaving its ports.

"Therefore, due to Force Majeure we cannot deliver the cement and we are going to send back to your account the 25,200 euro we received as an advance payment," the email, from a division of Italy's ItalCementi said.

Ship to Gaza Sweden described the Greek's ban as "deeply disturbing and completely reprehensible in democratic constitutional states.

"It is difficult to perceive the Greek government's actions as anything but an assault on the European civil society and business," it added.

Officials in Athens say they imposed the ban for the "safety" of the activists on board in the wake of last year's bloody showdown.

On May 31 2010, Israeli commandos raided a six-ship flotilla trying to break the naval blockade on Gaza in a confrontation that left nine Turkish activists dead and dozens of people injured.

Short link: