ATHENS – Greek Transport Minister Panayiotis Kouroumblis has reportedly offered a deal to let unlawful Turkish pleasure craft operating off Greek islands to continue doing so in a bid to get Turkey to stop barring its vessels from going to those destinations.
In talks at the ministry in Piraeus with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Arslan,Kouroumblis proposed petitioning the EU to consider the small passenger cruisers as “traditional vessels”, under the condition that all safety and maritime regulations are met, the Greek business newspaper Naftermporiki said.
The standoff had shut down transport between the islands and Turkey, hurting businesses in both countries. Turkey issued the ban after the Greek Coast Guard caught and fined several Turkish vessels unlawfully operating on the Greek islands.
Both sides also agreed to clarify and list the safety regulations stipulated in Greek and Community law, the paper said. There was no explanation why Greece would help unlawfully operating Turkish vessels competing with Greek boats.