Greece wants to install a floating barrier in the Aegean Sea to deter migrants arriving at its islands’ shores through Turkey, government officials said on Thursday.
Greece served as gateway to the European Union (EU) for over one million Syrian refugees and other migrants in recent years.
Greek islands, while an agreement with Turkey sharply reduced the number attempting the voyage since 2016, still struggle with overcrowded camps operating far beyond their capacity.
“The 2.7 kilometre long (1.68 miles) net-like barrier that Greece wants to buy will be set up in the sea off the island of Lesbos, where the overcrowded Moria camp operates.
“It will rise 50 cm above sea level and carry light marks that will make it visible at night,’’ a government document inviting vendors to submit offers said.
It added that although the aim was to contain the increasing inflows of migrants.
Defence Minister Nikos Panayiotopoulos told Skai Radio that the invitation for floating barriers was in the right direction.
“We will see what the result, what its effect as a deterrent will be in practice. “It will be a natural barrier if it works like the one in Evros.