Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Greece, Italy sign agreement to distinguish their economic zones

The foreign ministers of Greece and Italy Nikos Dendias and Luigi di Maio signed an agreement today in Athens to distinguish between their exclusive economic zones in the Mediterranean, ANA-MPA reported.
Earlier, the two ministers held a meeting where they discussed bilateral issues of European and regional interest, according to the announcement, BTA reports.

Kathimerini newspaper commented in recent days that the Greek government is rushing to sign the agreement with Italy in response to Turkey's intentions to launch oil and natural gas exploration in an area Greece considers part of its exclusive economic zone.

Turkey also claims the area under a memorandum that Ankara signed with the Libyan Government of National Consent in November. As a result, the EU imposed sanctions against Turkish entities over the violation of Greece's sovereign rights.

Sky Television commented that the agreement with Italy was the result of many years of consultations between working groups on both sides. The signing was made possible after Italian concerns about a possible restriction on Italy's fishing rights in the Ionian Sea were overcome.

Commentators note that the agreement between Athens and Rome also changes the situation regarding the demarcation of maritime spaces between Greece and Albania. Negotiations there have been no progress for some time, behind which Greek analysts see Ankara's influence in Tirana.