Territorial boundaries between Italy and France


italy - french borders

Continues the war between Italy and France about territorial boundaries. Few months ago, the dispute about the ownership of the border crossing not far from the access to the glacier of the Giant was reported by several newspapers. Now attention has moved on maritime borders.

Maritime border between Italy and France and related fishing rights are regulated by a document signed on 1892. But during 2011, Italy created an exclusive fishing zone whose boundaries were set provisionally “pending the delimitation agreements with France.” In March 2015, France and Italy signed a new treaty containing the General Convention on the borders.
According to this agreement, Italy agreed to consider “areas of mutual exchange” parts of the sea to the northwest and to the southeast of Corsica: Italy gave way a little piece of the Ligurian Sea and accepted part of the Tyrrhenian Sea. A seemingly minor change. That was the opinion of the deputies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Defense, the Environment, the Economic Development, the Agriculture and even the Culture attending the signing of the Treaty.

None thought about the consequences caused by the agreement for the free movement of vessels, except in the area of ​​the sea where the most fruitful is fishing for shrimps. French representatives claimed some areas for exclusive use: “In order to avoid that this agreement undermines the traditions of professional fishermen of the two countries, the parties agree, which meant the neighborhood, to leave the Italian coastal vessels and French exercise ‘activities on traditional fishing spots located within a defined area … “. An area that, as local fishermen know, is a paradise for fishing for prawns.
Up to now the agreement has not yet been ratified by Italy. But France did. Therefore their authorities, a few days ago, seized the Mina, an Italian fishing boat that was sailing in maritime waters off the coast of Ventimiglia. Crew and boat were released. But only after payment of a deposit of 8 thousand and 300 Euros.

Suddenly political authorities woke up from the lethargy: the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, thundered: “We knew nothing, is unheard of! They snatched a piece of the sea without saying nothing”. “Gentiloni must provide adequate explanations”, added. A statement to which the Foreign Ministry responded: “We do not know if there are vested interests behind the exchange.”
But it seems that the government’s decision will not damage only shrimp fishing: to suffer major damage could be also swordfish fishermen, whose fleet sailing up to this sea area from Tuscany, Sardinia and other southern regions. “Most of the areas falls were taken away from our fishermen,” said Barbara Exposed, leader and spokesman of Legacoop. And once again, vague statements of the Ministry of Agriculture: “We will try to understand what happened,” said Undersecretary Giuseppe Castiglione, “and then ask lights for Foreign Affairs”.

“We will do everything possible to remedy the grievances of the Ligurian”, said Undersecretary for Agricultural Policies, “The treaty has not yet been ratified, the margins are.”
Senator Donatella Albano announced: “You do not decide such important things without involving the territory.” And Alice Salvatore leader in Region Five Star Movement, said: “Crazy stuff, no one told us anything. With what you have traded our sea? “.
Renata Briano, vice president of the Committee on Fisheries of the EU, said it is: “Incredible that has not already informed the territory. And a story that lasted six years has not had any media coverage “.
Meanwhile, no one said anything about the criminal case against the fishing vessel Italian “guilty” of trespassing: despite the statement by MEP Renata Briano and Admiral John Pettorino, commander of the Maritime Directorate of Liguria, who reiterated that the fishing boat was in Italian waters (as the Treaty amending the boundaries is not yet in force), the French authorities have in fact confirmed the indictment of Mina and his commander.

C.Alessandro Mauceri




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