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30 Jan, 2020 12:25

Greece plans to install ‘floating fence’ to keep migrants out

Greece plans to install ‘floating fence’ to keep migrants out

The Greek government wants to install a floating barrier in the Aegean Sea to deter migrants arriving at its islands’ shores through Turkey, officials said on Thursday.

The 2.7km 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, Reuters reports.

It will rise 50cm above sea level and carry light marks that will make it visible at night, according to a government document inviting vendors to submit offers. “We will see what the result, what its effect as a deterrent will be in practice,” Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said. In 2012, Greece set up a cement and barbed-wire fence along its northern border with Turkey.

Greece served as a ateway to the EU for more than one million Syrian refugees and other migrants in recent years. While an agreement with Turkey sharply reduced the number attempting the voyage since 2016, Greek islands still struggle with overcrowded camps. Last year, 59,726 migrants and refugees reached Greece's shores according to the UN.