Greece has approved €18.5 million in financing for the purchase of new border patrol vessels. The aim is to strengthen maritime border protection.
Greece is taking additional measures to strengthen its maritime border protection. Some €18.5 million of funding has been approved by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum to purchase new vessels for the country's coast guard.
Government officials are concerned about another expected spike in irregular migrant arrivals in the coming spring and summer months, and are planning on stepping up already tight migration-related security measures.
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Surge in migrant arrivals
Irregular migrant arrivals from Turkey to Greece on boats have been on the rise since last fall. Last year, roughly twice as many migrants arrived irregularly compared to 2021, figures released by the Greek government last month show.
According to the migration ministry, the funding for the new vessels, which is co-financed by the European Union, has been approved.
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Acquisition of 50 vessels
"Through this action, the operational capacity of the Hellenic Coast Guard will be strengthened, which will contribute to the control and monitoring of illegal migration flows, the protection of human life and the fight against crime at our sea borders," the ministry said in a press release.
The following vessels will reportedly be purchased: two coastal patrol boats over 30 meters long, five high-speed patrol boats measuring over 17.5 meters, two special operations vessels, 11 high-speed patrol boats up to 13 meters long, ten pursuit patrol boats over 18 meters long, and 20 high-speed patrol boats up to 13 meters long.