A floating barrier that the government had been planning to set up in the Aegean Sea in a bid to stop irregular migrants from reaching the Greek islands from neighboring Turkey will probably be used in training exercises on how to contain marine pollution.
The Defense Ministry had been poised to take delivery of the 2.5-kilometer barrier in the first half of July but the Hellenic Coast Guard was reluctant to include the barrier in its operational planning, Kathimerini has learned.
Among the concerns of the Coast Guard are that the barrier could cause smuggling vessels to founder. It also deemed that the barrier could actually be exploited by human smugglers who could intentionally force boatloads of migrants over it, obliging the Coast Guard to launch a rescue operation.
It is most likely that the barrier will be used as a prop in training exercises for marine pollution responses, sources at the Shipping Ministry and Coast Guard told Kathimerini.