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Tags: greece | wall | turkey | afghanistan | migrants

Greece Hopes to Head Off Afghan Migrants by Completing Wall

Greece Hopes to Head Off Afghan Migrants by Completing Wall
In this Friday, May 21, 2021, a policeman patrols alongside a steel wall at Evros river, near the village of Poros, at the Greek -Turkish border, Greece. (Giannis Papanikos/AP)

By    |   Saturday, 21 August 2021 11:23 AM

Greece has completed an extension to an existing fence along its border with Turkey, a 25-mile long fence and surveillance system, as concerns grow over a surge of migrants fleeing Afghanistan to escape the country's new Taliban rulers. 

"We cannot wait, passively, for the possible impact," the official, Greece's Citizens' Protection Minister Chrisochoidis said while visiting the region of Evros on Friday, reports the BBC. 

He added that Greece's "borders will remain inviolable."

Chrisochoidis' comments came after Turkey insisted European countries should take on responsibility for the Afghan migrants, reports the BBC.

The extension to an existing 7.7-mile fence was completed in recent days and includes an automated, hi-tech electronic monitoring system, reports Reuters

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a telephone call that the increase in migrants from Afghanistan will pose a "serious challenge for everyone," and that the "new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and in Iran, reports the BBC.

Chrisochoidis said the growing crisis in Afghanistan is creating new "possibilities for migrant flows" into Europe. 

Greece was slammed in 2015 when more than a million people fled the Middle East, crossing from Turkey into the European Union. Its leaders say they throw out Afghans who illegally come across the border and enter their country. 

Many of the people who came into Greece in 2015 kept traveling on into Europe, but an estimated 60,000 have remained there. Last year, the country put a temporary block on new asylum applications when Erdogan announced that Turkey had "opened the doors" to allow migrants to travel into the EU. 

At that time, Mitsotakis said Greece had increased "the level of deterrence at our borders to the maximum" and deployed security personnel to the border at Evros.

However, those arrivals have slowed dramatically since 2016, when the EU and Turkey reached a deal to slow the traffic in exchange for financial support, reports Reuters.

Greece and Turkey are NATO allies but have been historic rivals for years. In recent months, Greece fenced off migrant camps and ordered two facilities to be built on the islands of Samos and Lesbos, which are close to Turkey. 

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Greece has completed an extension to an existing fence along its border with Turkey, a 25-mile long fence and surveillance system, as concerns grow over a surge of migrants fleeing Afghanistan to escape the country's new Taliban rulers.
greece, wall, turkey, afghanistan, migrants
369
2021-23-21
Saturday, 21 August 2021 11:23 AM
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