Monday, August 15

Greece builds a fence on the border with Turkey to shield itself against the arrival of Afghan refugees


Athens

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Given the potential increase in Afghan arrivals to Europe, Greece has built a high concrete wall with barbed wire, which will have a length of almost 40 kilometers and the installation of a digital barrier (of which the details are not known) of 220 kilometers. The ministers of Defense, Nikos Panayotópulos, and of Civil Protection, Mijális Jrisojoídis, visited yesterday the land border between Greece and Turkey, in the north of the country. There the construction of the concrete wall continued, which is an extension of a previous one of 12 kilometers, it costs 63 million euros as reported by the government last year.

It is known that the protection of this land border with Turkey will include sound cannons, watchtowers with long-range cameras, sensors and night vision, as well as drones. The two ministers have also visited the police coordination center in Orestiada (very close to the border) and the headquarters of the Infantry Division located there.

Jrisojoídis He stated that Greece cannot wait passively “for a possible shock” referring to a future uncontrolled arrival of immigrants, including Afghans, insisting that “our borders will remain inviolable.”

Protection of your borders by land and sea

Greece’s priority will continue to be the effective protection of its land and sea borders. And as confirmed yesterday by the new government spokesman Yanis Ikonomu, “the government will align its actions with the European Union, from which we have asked for a united position and treatment.” Because Greece wants “it to be absolutely clear to third countries and to Turkey that no instrumentalization of this situation will be tolerated.”

The Greek authorities have already started to prepare a plan to deal with a new refugee crisis, estimating that some 500,000 refugees from Afghanistan They will move to different countries in the near future. It is expected that it will take several weeks, about a month, for new refugees to find themselves in Turkey trying to reach Greece.

Nobody wants a repeat of the situation of March 2020 in which thousands of people tried to cross from Turkey to follow the rest of Europe, and in which the Greek military with the support of Frontex managed to ensure that none passed after days of great tension and tumult in the Turkish territory. The allegations against Greek forces that allegedly killed three people and used tear gas to defend the border from illegal immigrants, the vast majority Afghan and African (and not Syrian as was initially thought) are no longer discussed. And you don’t want to go back to the situation of 2015 in which a million people entered by land and by sea to continue their long journey through Europe until all borders were closed and many had to stay in Greece.

Mitsotakis and Erdogan, a necessary relationship

The latest and dramatic events in Afghanistan have also led to a new direct telephone contact between the Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis and the turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday afternoon. An important diplomatic advance in the face of a common problem, that of immigration, since both countries will very possibly be affected by new migratory flows in the coming days. Both politicians, according to the Greek media, agree that they face the same challenge and agree on the need to support countries close to Afghanistan so that refugees are not too far from their homes.

Mitsotakis and Erdogan also discussed the consequences of climate change, which both countries have faced in recent weeks.

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