Greece to install floating border barrier to stop migrant arrivals from Turkey

Greece plans to install a floating barrier to prevent migrants from reaching the Greek islands from Turkey following an influx in arrivals over the past year, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

The Greek Defence Ministry has called private contractors to bid on supplying a 2.7-kilometre-long (1.7 miles) floating barrier within three months, ABC News said.

As boatloads of men, women and children arrive on Greece’s Aegean islands, the new government in Athens vowed to bolster measures in response to renewed vigour from people-smugglers.

Turkey and the EU agreed on a refugee deal in 2016 to cut the influx of Syrian refugees arriving in Greece. A key provision of the deal was that immigrants arriving on Greek islands would be returned to Turkey unless they applied for and received asylum in Greece. And, migrant arrivals from Turkey to Greece have surged dramatically recently.

"The netted barrier would rise 50 centimetres (20 inches) above water and be designed to hold flashing lights, the submission said. The Defence Ministry estimates the project will cost 500,000 euros ($550,000), which includes four years of maintenance," ABC News said.

The floating barrier will be for civilian use, a process similar to that used for the supply of other equipment for housing refugees and migrants, despite its contract being executed by the defence ministry, according to a Greek government official.