Vicente Boluda Fos Awarded with medal of Knight of the Legion of Honor

Image courtesy of Boluda
Image courtesy of Boluda

Published Jun 22, 2022 4:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By: Boluda]

The former president of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy in the period 2007-2012 has conferred today in Paris to the president of Boluda Corporación Marítima, Vicente Boluda Fos, the medal of Knight of the Legion of Honor. 

The merits for which the Valencian shipowner receives this high distinction from the French Republic acknowledge the "remarkable services rendered to France" and "the professional career of the Valencian shipowner and businessman, as a business example in the international field".

This recognition demonstrates the commitment of Vicente Boluda Fos in the neighboring country, where Boluda France, a subsidiary of the international towing division Boluda Towage, plays a crucial role in the safety of operations in French waters and ports, as well as in countries on the west coast of Africa. Boluda France was created in 2007 following the acquisition of the French company Les Abeilles, whose activity dates back to 1864. 

The event took place this afternoon at the Pavillon Vendôme in the French capital, which was attended by about 250 people, including family, friends of the Valencian shipowner, employees and authorities, including the former Prime Minister of Spain, Felipe González; the Spanish Ambassador to France, Victorio Redondo; the Minister of Finance of the Valencia Regional Government, Arcadi España; the President of the Provincial Council of Valencia, Antoni Gaspar, and the President of the Port Authority of Valencia, Aurelio Martínez.

In his speech after receiving the award, Vicente Boluda began his address with these words: “Mr. President, thank you dear friends for being here tonight. Today I receive two honors: This decoration, of course, is the most prestigious of all. For a Spanish businessman who has been working in France for fifteen years, this is the most wonderful distinction. There is nothing like it in the world for me. The second honor is you, Mr. President: you accepted to present this decoration, a further proof of your great attachment to my country, Spain".

The Spanish businessman stressed that Nicolas Sarkozy has "done a lot for our country in the past and does so even today. They say there is no love, there is only proof of love. With respect to Spain you have shown us so much!  Thank you Mr. President! our two countries are destined to work together, of that I am convinced. You have in front of you many Spanish friends who have admired your work and who also feel very honored by your presence tonight. We are very proud to have you here with us".

Vicente Boluda referred to his family in this event, emphasizing that "for you as for me, family is sacred. This Legion of Honor does not belong to me alone, and I want to dedicate it to the one I am thinking of deeply tonight: my grandfather who, more than a hundred years ago, dared to embark on this adventure".

On the other hand, Boluda emphasized that "I have always loved France", pointing out that his mother's surname Fos "comes from a village in the Haute-Garonne on the slopes of the Pyrenees" and recalling his first summers in Biarritz, "the first at only four months old".

Regarding the purchase of the tugboat company Les Abeilles in 2007, the president of Boluda Towage, the international tugboat division of Boluda Corporación Marítima, stressed that "at that time people told me I was crazy, that we would fail. History has shown that one had to be crazy not to buy it. Today the company is stable, profitable and prosperous. From the beginning," he added, "I wanted Boluda France to be an authentically French company".

The recipient of the Knight of the Legion of Honor medal wished to share this distinction with his children and employees, "who with their work and passion have contributed to make the company what it is today, a company present in 22 countries, with a towing division, Boluda Towage, in 100 ports and with a fleet of 400 ships." He added: "But without France, without its energy and know-how, we could never have become what we are, namely the world leader".

Among the Spaniards who have received the medal of Knight of the Legion of Honor are Joaquín Sorolla, Isaac Albéniz, Pedro Almodóvar, Cristóbal Balenciaga, José Carreras, Amado Granell, Miguel Induráin, Alicia and Esther Koplowitz, Alfredo Kraus, Paloma O´Shea, Gregorio Peces Barba, Rosa Regás and Vicente Santaolaria. In the international arena, Mario Vargas Llosa, among other personalities, has also been awarded this distinction.

Information about Boluda Corporación Marítima
Boluda Towage, also chaired by Vicente Boluda Fos, together with the international transport and logistics division Boluda Shipping, make up the two strategic divisions of Boluda Corporación Marítima, which also has two smaller divisions: Boluda Port Services (which provides mooring services and supply and transport of material and personnel to ships) and VB Comisarios de Averías (which offers expertise in maritime claims).

Boluda France
Boluda France currently operates in the French ports of Marseille-Fos, Marseille, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Brest, Nantes Saint-Nazaire, La Rochelle; in the French overseas territories of Réunion and Mayotte, as well as in the West African ports of Tangier (Morocco), Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan and San Pedro (Ivory Coast), Nouadhibou and Nouakchott (Mauritania), Lomé (Togo) and East Timor, in Southeast Asia.

Boluda Towage has a fleet of nearly 400 vessels in its subsidiaries in Spain, France, Europe, America and Offshore; it operates in 100 ports in 18 countries; it employs more than 6,000 people and has a unique expertise in port services, being the second largest company in the world in the towage sector, thanks to its entrepreneurial know-how, in which the French division of the company has played a key role. 

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