Article 68 add.
Add the following paragraphs as an annex to Article 68:
- “Italy shall restore all legal rights and interests of the Greek Orthodox Establishments (communities, endowments or churches) in Italy, as existing on October 28, 1922, in the manner laid down in Article 68 of the Treaty.
- “Any such establishments existing at the time of the signature of the present Treaty, or other similar establishments subsequently constituted, shall enjoy full spiritual liberty and freedom of worship and shall be entitled to own, administer or dispose of property to further their ends. As regards their organisation and functioning, they shall be governed by their acts of constitution, statutes or regulations.
- “Should the above-mentioned establishments have ceased to function, the Greek Government shall be responsible for the administration of this property, as well as for the preservation of archives and Articles [Page 705]owned by them, including Articles of historic, artistic, religious or archeological interest.”
The Greek Government considers that the lively interest it takes in the future of the Greek Orthodox churches and the Greek communities in Italy, and especially in the fate of their invaluable heritage, which constitutes one of the finest chapters in the history of Greece, is fully justified and that, moreover, it is its duty to ensure their indemnification and to safeguard them against any subsequent interference on the part of Italy, or indeed against any attack on this heritage or its free administration by the legal organs of the said establishments and communities.
Turning in particular to the problem of fishing (fish and sponges) in the territorial waters of North Africa, and, more especially, in Libya and Cyrenaica, from the days of antiquity this has been an item in Greek economy, which still shows a deficit.
This ancient right of the Greek nationals, and particularly the inhabitants of the Dodecanese, whose chief occupation from time immemorial has been sponge-fishing, has never been contested even by the Italian Government.
It is therefore essential that the future treaties, and especially the agreements which will determine the fate of the Italian colonies, should establish the right of Greek nationals to fish in the territorial waters of the Italian colonies, as well as to fish for sponges and exploit the submarine surfaces on which these are found, free of tax or hindrance of any kind.