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Greece Should Copy Cyprus Economic Maritime Zones, Samaras Says

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Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Greece should follow Cyprus’s lead in exploring for offshore oil and gas, Greek New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said in Nicosia today following a meeting with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias.

“We’re closely monitoring the developments concerning the exclusive economic zones” in Cyprus and “Greece should take similar practical steps” to sign agreements with neighboring countries on maritime borders, Samaras said, according to a transcript of his comments posted on the website of the Cyprus government’s Press and Information Office.

Cyprus and Greece could form a joint strategy on offshore hydrocarbon deposits and on economic issues, Samaras said. Noble Energy Inc., the U.S. company which has the license to explore and exploit gas in Block 12 of Cyprus’s offshore territory, said on Dec. 28 that it discovered as much as 8 trillion cubic feet of gas off the island’s southern coast, Cyprus’s first ever discovery.

While New Democracy would garner most votes if an election were held now in Greece, the party would not gain enough seats to pass the 151 majority threshold, three polls showed over the weekend.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net