How the Greek Foreign Minister Dendias made a banner of international law and debased it

Ω Prof. Giorgos Margaritis
597
How the Greek foreign Minister Dendias made a banner of international law a flag and debased it, Giorgos Margaritis

The crisis of July with the Turkish NAVTEX south of Kastellorizo and the deployment of the military fleets of Greece and Turkey, sealed procedurally and in terms of direction already intense diplomatic movements. This mobility is in line with the underlying assumptions of Turkish revisionist views that want to negotiate on all matters concerning the regime of sovereignty that governs the Aegean Archipelago and the seas around Greece and Cyprus.

Negotiations began under the auspices of powerful forces, led by the United States, and mediated and possibly guarded by another powerful factor, Germany, which holds the EU presidency. Greek diplomacy, given the conditions that have prevailed in our country for a long time, accepted both the persuasion and the mediation and drew a minimum credible line of defense, invoking in general and vaguely international law.

However, as Athens has not yet used - that is, applied - the advantages given to it by international law, the power of invoking such is diminished. The long-standing refusal to use the sovereign rights that this international law gives Greece, obviously devalues the country's commitment to the principles of this law and in practice opens to question its absolute value as a rule and guide.

One can see something further. International law as Greek diplomacy used it in the last decades was "adapted" to the expressed or not expressed desires of the powerful or those less powerful. Neighboring Turkey 's "interpretations" were part of this process of relativizing international law. But law generally exists to safeguard the rights of the weak over those of the strong. If your side accepts that the latter can replace all or part of the rules, then you yourself have overturned the protective function of the legal framework.

Italy was just the beginning

Somehow, with one retreat following another, the situation reached the point of no return. Greece's refusal to apply what the Law of the Sea enshrines has created a vacuum and claims have been articulated on this vacuum. These claims, as absurd as they may seem for the letter of international law, obtain substance when based on an absence of opposition and the consequent gap. One thing led to another until it was time to pay the piper.

The government claims - and the official opposition SYRIZA and KINAL accept it with some specific grievances - that the continental shelf and EEZ delimitation agreements with Italy and Egypt shield Greece's rights against Turkish intrusion. However, all indications are that these are simply the first chapters of a more general redistribution of boundaries and lines of sovereignty and dominion in the wider region, which will basically and substantially cut into the sovereign rights of Greece. The method used to pursue speaks for itself.

The agreement with Italy set the boundaries of the EEZ in the Ionian, but in a way that created significantly negative situations for the future. The Greek EEZ will not be the EEZ that - constantly invoked - international law provides for. Fishing rights will not be "exclusively" Greek in this area. Attention, this is not a renewal of fishing license but an international treaty "clipping" the concept of EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

Those more skeptical would see at this point a model for any future "co-exploitation" of any EEZ. The exchange of the right of islands and islets in the EEZ with the acceptance of the term of reduced influence undermined the relevant provision of international law. An island may have an EEZ but its influence can be 0%! This agreement has already paved the way for the relativization of all clauses of the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Dendias and International Law

And then came the agreement with Egypt. The government is celebrating for this as well. In practice, the new demarcation added to the previous “clipping” of international law concerning the sovereign rights of Greece. According to what has been “leaked” and according to the (unofficial) map that was made public, the rights of the islands are being curtailed. These are not just some rocky islets or uninhabited islands. We are talking about Crete and Rhodes. If we have understood well, based on the argument - which Turkey uses extensively - the length of the coastline, the principle of the equidistant middle line has been abolished, to the detriment of the islands.

Their influence, to put it more diplomatically, was revitalized and diminished with the signature of the Greek government and on the basis of a vague argument adopted, targeting, the Turkish position: the length of the coastline. If this argument abolishes the right of Crete delineating the middle line, then what would small Kastellorizo matter? International law is also done away with as well. Signed by the Greek government also in this case.

So now the Greek-Turkish dialogue can begin. The Greek government has regulated - with the demarcation agreements with Italy and Egypt - all the basic prerequisites. Unfortunately it regulated them according to the basics of what the other side is claiming. The Greek EEZ is not a complete and normal EEZ, as defined by international law. The adjective "exclusive" can be negotiated and compromised.

The islands, small, large, inhabited, uninhabited, have the right to a continental shelf and an EEZ. However, this is determined on the basis of vague measures and weights that will be determined through negotiation. The length of the opposite shores can give them a right on the level of 0%! Of course, the Greek political system is capable of celebrating this zero percent. The main thing to note is that they have a continental shelf and an EEZ!

Could perhaps this deeply corrupt political system that holds power in Greece, alternating with deceptive identities at regular intervals, admit the obvious: that at the point where they have brought Greece and its people, they can do nothing more than to submit, to cede national territory and sovereignty. As they have assigned the prosperity and hope of our people. Maybe it would be smart to admit the real situation. Because one day the lies will have to end and the many, the Greek people, will discover what has happened and what is happening. Let's see then who will save this incredible band of the “Best and brightest”.

The crisis of July with the Turkish NAVTEX south of Kastellorizo and the deployment of the military fleets of Greece and Turkey, sealed procedurally and in terms of direction already intense diplomatic movements. This mobility is in line with the underlying assumptions of Turkish revisionist views that want to negotiate on all matters concerning the regime of sovereignty that governs the Aegean Archipelago and the seas around Greece and Cyprus.

Negotiations began under the auspices of powerful forces, led by the United States, and mediated and possibly guarded by another powerful factor, Germany, which holds the EU presidency. Greek diplomacy, given the conditions that have prevailed in our country for a long time, accepted both the persuasion and the mediation and drew a minimum credible line of defense, invoking in general and vaguely international law.

However, as Athens has not yet used - that is, applied - the advantages given to it by international law, the power of invoking such is diminished. The long-standing refusal to use the sovereign rights that this international law gives Greece, obviously devalues the country's commitment to the principles of this law and in practice opens to question its absolute value as a rule and guide.

One can see something further. International law as Greek diplomacy used it in the last decades was "adapted" to the expressed or not expressed desires of the powerful or those less powerful. Neighboring Turkey 's "interpretations" were part of this process of relativizing international law. But law generally exists to safeguard the rights of the weak over those of the strong. If your side accepts that the latter can replace all or part of the rules, then you yourself have overturned the protective function of the legal framework.

Italy was the beginning

Somehow, with one retreat following another, the situation reached the point of no return. Greece's refusal to apply what the Law of the Sea enshrines has created a vacuum and claims have been articulated on this vacuum. These claims, as absurd as they may seem for the letter of international law, obtain substance when based on an absence of opposition and the consequent gap. One thing led to another until it was time to pay the piper.

The government claims - and the official opposition SYRIZA and KINAL accept it with some specific grievances - that the continental shelf and EEZ delimitation agreements with Italy and Egypt shield Greece's rights against Turkish intrusion. However, all indications are that these are simply the first chapters of a more general redistribution of boundaries and lines of sovereignty and dominion in the wider region, which will basically and substantially cut into the sovereign rights of Greece. The method used to pursue speaks for itself.

The agreement with Italy set the boundaries of the EEZ in the Ionian, but in a way that created significantly negative situations for the future. The Greek EEZ will not be the EEZ that - constantly invoked - international law provides for. Fishing rights will not be "exclusively" Greek in this area. Attention, this is not a renewal of fishing license but an international treaty "clipping" the concept of EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

Those more skeptical would see at this point a model for any future "co-exploitation" of any EEZ. The exchange of the right of islands and islets in the EEZ with the acceptance of the term of reduced influence undermined the relevant provision of international law. An island may have an EEZ but its influence can be 0%! This agreement has already paved the way for the relativization of all clauses of the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Dendias and International Law

And then came the agreement with Egypt. The government is celebrating for this as well. In practice, the new demarcation added to the previous “clipping” of international law concerning the sovereign rights of Greece. According to what has been “leaked” and according to the (unofficial) map that was made public, the rights of the islands are being curtailed. These are not just some rocky islets or uninhabited islands. We are talking about Crete and Rhodes. If we have understood well, based on the argument - which Turkey uses extensively - the length of the coastline, the principle of the equidistant middle line has been abolished, to the detriment of the islands.

Their influence, to put it more diplomatically, was relativized and reduced with the signature of the Greek government and on the basis of a vague argument adopted, targeting, the Turkish position: the length of the coastline. If this argument abolishes the right of Crete delineating the middle line, then what would small Kastellorizo matter? International law is also done away with as well. Signed by the Greek government also in this case.

So now the Greek-Turkish dialogue can begin. The Greek government has regulated - with the demarcation agreements with Italy and Egypt - all the basic prerequisites. Unfortunately it regulated them according to the basics of what the other side is claiming. The Greek EEZ is not a complete and normal EEZ, as defined by international law. The adjective "exclusive" can be negotiated and compromised.

The islands, small, large, inhabited, uninhabited, have the right to a continental shelf and an EEZ. However, this is determined on the basis of vague measures and weights that will be determined through negotiation. The length of the opposite shores can give them a right on the level of 0%! Of course, the Greek political system is capable of celebrating this zero percent. The main thing to note is that they have a continental shelf and an EEZ!

Could perhaps this deeply corrupt political system that holds power in Greece, alternating with deceptive identities at regular intervals, admit the obvious: that at the point where they have brought Greece and its people, they can do nothing more than to submit, to cede national territory and sovereignty. As they have assigned the prosperity and hope of our people. Maybe it would be smart to admit the real situation. Because one day the lies will have to end and the many, the Greek people, will discover what has happened and what is happening. Let's see then who will save this incredible band of the “Best and brightest”.

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