France beefs up sea protection rules

French MPs have approved a law creating an ecological protection zone in the Mediterranean Sea and increasing the country's jurisdiction to police ships up to 80-miles from the coast. The proposal was originally made by the previous government but last May's elections interrupted its parliamentary passage (EED 01/03/02). The new law paves the way for a tougher inspection scheme for oil tankers announced by France and Spain in November (EED 27/11/02). Separate legislation enacting an international protocol on protecting the Antarctic was also approved. See press release.

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