Greece Is Planning a Floating Barrier Against Refugees

Greek Coast Guard vessel at the port of Preveza (AFP)

The government in Athens wants to reduce the number of arrivals on the islands in the Aegean. In an emergency, networks are supposed to stop people who want to enter Turkey.

 

 

Greece wants to act with "floating protection systems" against migrants who want to enter through Turkey. The Greek Ministry of Defense issued a tender for the installation of shut-off mechanisms in the Aegean. These are to be used in an "emergency" against refugees who come from neighbouring Turkey. These are said to be "barriers or nets" with a length of almost three kilometers, which are to be installed by the Greek armed forces.

According to the authorities, the systems should protrude half a meter from the water and be equipped with flashing lights. The estimated total cost of the project is half a million euros according to the tender. The authorities initially did not disclose any further details.

Since 2015, the Greek Ministry of Immigration has received logistical support from the army to deal with the tasks caused by incoming refugees.

 

In 2019 Greece was the country with the highest number of refugees arriving in Europe. More than 40,000 people currently are staying in the overcrowded refugee camps on the Greek Aegean Islands. Actually, these camps only have capacities for 6,200 people. Aid organisations have criticised the situation there as inhumane in recent months.

Following the tightening of asylum and residence procedures for refugees in Greece, the conservative government of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also wants to extradite people who "do not need international protection" or whose asylum applications have been rejected. Human rights organisations strongly oppose these measures.

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