Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias reiterated on Tuesday the government’s intention to extend the country's territorial waters to 12 nautical miles south of Crete, during a debate on a bill delimitating maritime borders between Greece and Italy, reported Ekathimerini.
The bill follows an agreement signed between the two countries on June 9, 2020. The deal is an extension of a 1977 accord and paves the way for the two countries to explore for and exploit marine resources in the area.
“The prime minister commented months ago about the expansion of [Greek] territorial waters in Crete. And of course Crete includes the eastern part,” he told lawmakers starting the debate before the plenary.
“This draft law has the unanimous support of the political forces of the national Parliament, so I believe that the moment has a historic aspect and I would like to thank the political parties for their cooperation.”
Lawmakers will debate for two days – Tuesday and Wednesday – on the draft legislation that will extend Greece's coastal zone (territorial waters) to 12 nautical miles in the sea area of the Ionian Sea and the Ionian Islands to Cape Tainaro in the Peloponnese.
The extension of the coastal zone is based on Article 27 of the Constitution, as it concerns a change in the borders of the State, for which a law is required that is passed by an absolute majority of all the parliamentary deputies.