Greece plans to build sea barrier to keep migrants out
The Greek government wants to install a floating barrier fence to stop refugees from reaching their islands.
LESBOS, GREECE — Greece wants to put up a sea barrier to stop boatloads of refugees and asylum-seekers from reaching its islands.
According to the BBC, migrants fleeing persecution and violence in countries like Afghanistan and Syria often try to reach Europe by travelling through Turkey to Greece.
Migrant camps on several Greek islands are now overcrowded, but plans to create new ones have only angered residents, who took to the streets to protest them.
With arrivals proving hard to manage, Greece is planning to install a floating barrier near the island of Lesbos on the Aegean Sea.
According to the Guardian, the 2.7-kilometer long netted barrier will rise from pylons 50 meters above water, and will be equipped with flashing lights.
Greece's defense ministry said the budget for the project is 500,000 euros, which includes around four years of maintenance costs.
The BBC reports that such barriers rising above sea level will make it difficult for small boats to pass, and may present a problem for propeller-driven vessels.
Greek authorities believe a sea barrier will be able to curb flows in a similar manner to the barbed-wire fence built in Evros, along the northern land border with Turkey, in 2012.
Amnesty International, meanwhile, criticized Greece's plan, warning that it would only add to the dangers refugees are already facing in their quest for safety.
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