More than one million migrants arrived on the shores of Greece in recent years as they made their way from Africa to Europe. Many of them made the relatively short boat trip across the Aegean Sea and landed on one of the Greek Isles. The huge influx of people strained the Greek economy as the government dealt with housing and basic needs. Greek refugee camps remain over capacity.
Recent agreements with Turkey and Libya have slowed the pace of migration, but it still happens. To further deter migrants, Greece wants to build a fence… on the water.
The 1.7 mile net-like barrier that Greece wants to buy will be set up in the sea off the island of Lesbos, the location of the overcrowded Moria camp. The barrier will be short, rising about 20 inches above sea level, and carry lights that make it visible at night.
Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told Skai Radio:
“The invitation for floating barriers is 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, I believe it can be effective.”
The one in Evros is a cement and barbed-wire fence that Greece set up in 2012 along its northern border with Turkey to stop a rise in migrants crossing there.
If the floating fence is effective, more parts may be added and it could reach 13-15 kilometers, the official said.