Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias highlighted the historicity of Greece expanding its territorial waters during his presentation of the bill to do this.
The comments were made during a presentation in the Plenary Session of the Parliament on the draft law to determine the width of the coastal zone in the Ionian Sea and the Ionian Islands up to Cape Tainaro.
Dendias spoke of a “special honour” for him to propose this legislation and spoke of the “first extension of Greece’s national territory since 1947. This is an area of 10,079 square kilometres, and if one adds the closure of the bays, it exceeds 13,000 square kilometres.”
“If one takes into account that the whole country is around 135,0000 square kilometres, one realizes the size of this expansion,” he added.
The minister noted that enlargement will not be limited to the southern part of Crete, but will also include the eastern part facing Turkey.
“As far as Crete is concerned, as the prime minister has said for a long time, it includes the eastern part, there is no doubt about it,” he stressed.
He described it as “extremely important” that the legislation “is accompanied by the unanimous support of all political forces of the national Parliament.”
“I think the moment has elements of historicity,” Dendias said, thanking Parliament for its “warm support.”
Although extensions of 12 nautical miles in the Aegean Sea, as permitted by international law, have not yet been discussed, it will remain the last part of Greece’s territorial expansion.
It would radically change Greece’s territorial waters when this occurs, despite Turkish threats of war if Athens enacts its rights under international law.