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Greece is building floating fences to stop migration flows in the Aegean

Greece is planning to build floating fences in the Aegean Sea in order to prevent refugees and migrants to arrive from Turkey, The fences are reportedly to be set off the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea that receive the overwhelming migration flows. The plan will be executed by the Greek Armed Forces as the tender launched by the Defense Ministry states.

For this purpose the Defense Ministry has launched a tender for the supply of the floating fences.

According to Lesvos media stonisi, the tender aims to supply the Defense Ministry with 2,700 meters of protection floating system of no military specifications.

The floating fences will be used by the Armed Forces for their mission to manage a continuously increasing refugee/migration flows, as it is clearly stated in the tender text.

It is indicative that the tender call to the companies states that the supply of the floating protection system “will restrict and, where appropriate, suspend the intent to enter the national territory, in order to counter the ever-increasing migration / refugee flows due to the imperative and urgent need to restrain the increased refugee flows.”

The tender has been reportedly launched on Jan 24, 2020, in order to cover “urgent needs.” The floating fences will carry lights liker small lighthouses. The fences will be 1.10 m high with 60 cm under water.

they are reportedly to be installed off the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos.

The estimated cost of the floating system incl maintenance is at 500,000 euros.

Government spokesman and Defense Minister confirmed the reports on Thursday following skeptical reactions. “It is the first phase of a pilot program,” to start initially of Lesvos, said spokesman Petsas. “We want to see if it works,” he added.

The floating fences plan primarily raises the question on whether it violates the international law as it prevents people fleeing for their live to seek a safe haven.

Another question is how these floating fences will prevent the sea traffic (ships, fishing boats)

PS and the third question is, of course, political: Will these fences be installed at 6 or 12 nautical miles off the islands shores? Greece could use the opportunity to extend its territorial waters… etc etc But it only the usual mean Greeks making jokes about a measure without logic.

Meanwhile, opponents of the measure showed the length of the floating fence in proportion to the island of Lesvos. The comparison is shocking.

Now many wonder what’s the real purpose of the whole plan.

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7 comments

  1. I do not think that such things are acceptable legally. It is not permissible to close maritime waters except in a time of war. Greece has a legal duty — in Greek, EU and international law — to receive asylum-seekers arrriving by sea. It also has a legal duty to protect all those who use the Aegean Sea. These legal duties come before EVERYTHING and most certainly are not removed by the poxy informal agreement with Erdogan that all the courts have ruled are not part of the law.

    It will be interesting to see what your new president of Greece (who is supposed to be some sort of lawyer) has to say about the constitutionality of the Hungarian-style fences and borders. My guess is that she will say nothing at all.

    • Take first in your country all the illegal migrants who are not refugees (unless Pakistan or Bangladesh is at war) and then point your finger to Greeks about what is illegal and what is not.
      A country of 10 millions can’t afford these numbers…

      • You are talking nonsense, trying to point a finger at unknown persons for their alleged responsibility to obey international law. The fact is that Greece must respect the law, and accept applications for asylum. There is no such thing as an illegal migrant without a court decision rejecting each asylum application. Calling people “illegal migrants” when they are not is actually a hate crime. It is what we expect from neo-Nazi parties, not from decent people.

  2. Christos P. Tsonis

    Greece, an EU member, has no help from the European Union (EU) to defend its border. The leaders of the EU must understand that in order to save the EU from complete disintegration, they must establish a common economic and defence policy similar to the U.S.A. Currently, Turkey threatens to invade the Greek Eastern Mediterranean Islands. If the EU leaders cared about all their members, they would give a stern warning to Turkey to stay away from the Greek Mediterranean Sea and find a solution for the asylum seekers that floods the Greek Islands daily.

    • Agreed in general, although the EU-Turkey Statement was supposed to protect Greece’s borders. However, this was always a short-term measure and I suspect it has almost reached the end of its life.

      The problem in the EU is that too many idiotic voters support far right parties and lunatic nationalistic ideologies that oppose a common EU defence policy. The UK was one of the worst for this nonsense, and is now gone; there remain the East European loonies, and especially Hungary. With some luck, they will fuck off too, and the EU can embark on a rational discussion on how to protect itself economically and militarily.

      • hmm, common EU defence policy.. i think we’ve heard this before.. so, say, something along the lines of ‘ein volk, ein reich, ein fuhrer’ ? That sounds like a cool slogan for a common EU defence policy. We could call it Fortress Europe for short!
        You know, tyranny hiding behind ‘legality’ when it suits them and ignoring it when it does not, totally erodes the very meaning of the law until the only thing left is naked power and a few shreds of cheap clothing still sticking to a couple of spots. I’m sure the idea of naked power appeals to those who enjoy bossing other people around, and those shreds of ‘law’ still clinging to it calm the hearts of all the cowards cheering them on. It is pretty much the opposite of civilized society , though, and it ends very badly.
        The Greek state, if they were to bother to pay attention anymore, owes first and foremost a legal duty to the greek people. Even the constitution is subservient to the greek people (besides, if youve ever read the consititution of the greek state it’s a masterpiece of sneaky political doublespeak, weve had traitors in high places for far too long)
        and when the constitution, the state, and the ‘laws’ become harmful to the people, they have no obligation to obey and every right to abolish what is harmful. The only thing preventing this is naked violence, which is what i suppose your ‘common EU defence policy’ is actually all about anyway.
        It will end badly.