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Silja sale sparks hate mail

Date: 13 Jun 2006 00:00 Source: Lloyd's Register - Fairplay

Sea Containers’ sale of the Finnish cruise ferry group Silja to the rapidly-expanding Estonian ferry company Tallink has unleashed a wave of emotion-laden comments in the Finnish media. Silja Line is one of the best known brands in Finland and Sweden. While some of the comments have taken a cool look at the deal, some take an openly hostile view of the transfer of Silja’s ownership to Estonia and the worst cases border on racism. Expressing a positive view, Rami Vilander wrote on the Internet shipping debate forum Ferries and Cruise Ships of the Baltic Sea: “I am happy that Tallink bought Silja. In the future [Silja’s] newbuildings perhaps will be built in Finland as Tallink has had the habit of doing.”

Conversely, a writer only identifying himself as Mika T commented on the website of the Ilta-Sanomat tabloid that service on Silja Line was bound to fall, since travelling with Tallink was like being in a cattle truck. “Kikkare”, another commentator on the same site, said: “I will boycott the said ships as these Estonians have not yet got rid of their Soviet backgrounds”.

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