Italy - "Eez meant to keep out all those boat people," Venice Lagoon harbormaster Gian-Carlo sambucca said today as a massive erection of steel gates bolted to the sea floor was being installed ahead of high tide.
The 23,000 tonne, 78-section barrier is Venice's latest weapon against hordes of immigrants fleeing North Africa for la dolce vita in bankrupt Italy.
It means the Lagoon barrage will be the sole defence between Venice and an invasion of economic migrants desperate to secure landfall following two recent tragedies at sea.
Last week a boatful of them sank during terrible weather somewhere off the coast of Sicily almost one week after a similar craft jam-packed to the rafters went belly-up close to Lampedusa.
This coming Friday's Autumn high tide coincides with an eclipsed fool moon, a classic omen for marine catastrophes.
"Donta worry, we catcha the bastards," Sambucca added, "wanna see pics of giant squids mating in the Treviso Fountain, only 100 Euro a pop...?"