Greek shipowners and their government hope to fend off pressure from the European Commission with an agreement on a new tax framework that will streamline a host of ad-hoc levies adopted during the country’s financial crisis.

The broad outline of the deal, unveiled on 27 February, suggests the government is about to ­remove some of the burden it imposed on the Greek shipping community during the national financial melt­down five years ago.

In exchange, shipowners drop­ped the pretence that these tax rises were temporary and ­accepted that some of them will continue indefinitely.