Greek MPs have passed in principle new laws to lift restrictions on SCUBA diving. They hope to help make Greece one of the most popular worldwide destinations for scuba-diving holidays. In past years, recreational diving was strictly restricted in Greece in order to deter antiquities smugglers, with diving only permitted in specific, closely-watched locations.

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party expressed reservations about whether the new laws adequately protected submerged archaeological remains, however.

Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis stressed that all measures in the bill were fully harmonised with Community law and aimed to allow full exploitation of the favourable weather conditions prevailing in Greece for the greater part of the year, as well as its natural, historic and cultural attractions, to draw the recreational diving sector.

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