Mitsotakis: Greece-Italy Agreement Recognises that Islands Have Sovereign Rights

ATHENS — "Greece signed on Tuesday the first agreement in its history to establish an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In cooperation with Italy, they defined the maritime areas that each country will be able to exploit. Based on both international and maritime law, it has been recognised in the most formal way that islands have sovereign rights, in the same way as the mainland. It is very important for the national strategy of our country," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday, addressing the Parliament during the debate on the education ministry's bill on "Upgrading School and other provisions."

"The agreement is a model of reconciliation between Greece and Italy that has been pending for 40 years. At the same time, it is an international event that establishes clear rules in the Mediterranean Sea and is recorded as a historical, political and legal fact for the whole region," Mitsotakis stressed.

"With neighbouring Italy, we have succeeded in making the waters that unite us calm. A combination of peace and cooperation for the common good. I hope that there will be a fruitful continuation of such bilateral treaties with other countries in the region," he added.

He pointed out that this development did not come about by chance, but was the result of systematic and unobtrusive work, proving that Greece can and must have national self-confidence because it always has the law on its side.

"Greece has the knowledge, pride and power to defend its rights whenever, wherever and as it must," he said.

The prime minister began his speech on the draft bill by thanking the teachers, the students, and their parents, who kept education going during the pandemic. "Everything that cannot be changed is paralysed," he said.

"During the crisis, the world of knowledge in Greece showed unprecedented adaptability to emergencies. Students but mainly teachers did their best to put distance learning into practice," said the prime minister.

"The pandemic has created a legacy of knowledge, as well as a subject on which we need to build to further strengthen distance education," he added.

Mitsotakis stressed that the pandemic proved that there is no effective state without decisions based on scientific knowledge. "But there are no responsible citizens without knowledge and an open mind," he said. An education system that will give equally great importance to the sciences but also the humanities. An educational system of high expectations but also high demands."

Investing in education is a condition for national survival, the prime minister stressed.



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