Greece's new government spokesman Christos Tarantilis, hailed the tabling of a new bill foreseeing the extension of the western limit of Greece’s territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles as a “historic decision.”
“This is a historic decision, as Greece extends its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in this area and expands – for the first time since 1947 – the area of its territory,” Tarantilis said.
The parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense will begin debate on the bill on Tuesday.
A second reading will take place on January 15 and the plenary session will take up the bill on January 19.
Tarantilis said the bill also stipulates that Greece reserves the right under international law to also extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles around the rest of the country.
Furthermore, the draft law for the acquisition of 18 French Rafale fighter aircraft will be submitted to Parliament on Tuesday.
The bill titled “Approval of draft defense contracts” contains five articles. The main ones are the draft contract for the supply of the fighter jets, the draft contract for the subsequent support of the fighters as well as the contract for the supply and subsequent support of equipment (weapons) of the French aircraft.
Athens will have a constructive disposition when exploratory contacts with Ankara resume, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said during an interview with Kathimerini.
He also stressed that the agenda of the exploratory contacts is specific and cannot be changed.
What worries Dendias is that “the Turkey of 2021 is not the Turkey of 2016, when the last round of exploratory contacts took place.”
“Today’s Turkey deviates from the Turkey of the early 2000s, when it looked forward to European integration,” he added.
Regarding the bill to parliament to extend the western limit of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles, Dendias emphasised that “it is the first extension of the borders of the Greek State since 1947, always by peaceful means and on the basis of International Law”.
“We are preparing for expansion in other parts of the country,” he continued.