The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the extension to 12 miles for the territorial waters in the Ionian Sea, saying “We are growing Greece”.
Mr. Mitsotakis made the announcement in the Hellenic Parliament during the discussion of the two maritime demarcation agreements with Italy and Egypt is in progress.
“We have the result of a new patriotism. In this context, I announce today that immediately with a bill that we submit to the Parliament, Greece expands its territorial waters to the West from six to 12 miles. Greece is growing. Others have said it but we do it. This is how we proceed in a sea area. Specifically in the Ionian to Cape Tainaros in water extension. A right that our country reserves to exercise in other areas too and our neighbors have already exercised with respect to the Law of the Sea and the rule of the middle line where the distance is less than 6 or 12 miles. The Foreign Minister has briefed his Italian and Albanian counterparts.
Referring to the two EEZ agreements, he spoke of “major historical and political weight” in the two agreements, emphasizing that “our speech today must be responsible” so as not to undermine the country’s national strategy.
The two agreements are bilateral, but have “universal radiance as a shining example of transnational reconciliation”.
“In seas like the Mediterranean, the area of the continental shelf is identical with the EEZ”, he said, noting that our islands, and Kastelorizo, have an EEZ and a continental shelf. “Nothing is preventing our country from extending its territorial waters to 12 miles”, he added. “The settlement of maritime zones with neighboring countries restores international law and allows the use of common resources. Conditions are re-establishing a regime of legitimacy in the region”.
He spoke of active diplomacy on the part of Athens and a policy that is gradually unfolding. “Greece actively retains its sovereign rights both east of the 28th meridian and west of the 26th”, he stressed.