Greece plans float­ing bor­der

Antelope Valley Press - - SECOND FRONT -

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The gov­ern­ment in Greece wants to use a float­ing bar­rier to help stop mi­grants from reach­ing the Greek is­lands from the nearby coast of Tur­key.

The De­fense Min­istry has in­vited pri­vate con­trac­tors to bid on sup­ply­ing a 21.7 mile long float­ing fence within three months, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion avail­able on a gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment web­site Wed­nes­day. No de­tails were given on when the bar­rier might be in­stalled.

A resur­gence in the num­ber of mi­grants and refugees ar­riv­ing by sea to Les­bos and other east­ern Greek is­lands has caused se­vere over­crowd­ing at refugee camps.

The net­ted bar­rier would rise 20 inches above wa­ter and be de­signed to hold flash­ing lights, the sub­mis­sion said. The De­fense Min­istry es­ti­mates the project will cost $550,000 which in­cludes four years of main­te­nance.

The gov­ern­ment’s de­scrip­tion says the “float­ing bar­rier sys­tem” needs to be built “with non-mil­i­tary spec­i­fi­ca­tions” and “spe­cific fea­tures for car­ry­ing out the mis­sion of (mar­itime agen­cies) in man­ag­ing the refugee cri­sis.”

“This con­tract process will be ex­e­cuted by the De­fense Min­istry but is for civil­ian use — a process sim­i­lar to that used for the sup­ply of other equip­ment for (camps) hous­ing refugees and mi­grants,” a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The of­fi­cial asked not to be iden­ti­fied pend­ing of­fi­cial an­nounce­ments by the gov­ern­ment.

Greece’s six-month old cen­ter-right gov­ern­ment has promised to take a tougher line on the mi­gra­tion cri­sis and plans to set up de­ten­tion fa­cil­i­ties for mi­grants denied asy­lum and to speed up de­por­ta­tions back to Tur­key.

Un­der a 2016 mi­gra­tion agree­ment be­tween the Euro­pean Union and Tur­key, the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment was promised up to 6 bil­lion eu­ros to help stop the mass move­ment of mi­grants to Europe.

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