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Politics

Greece Looks to Extend Evros River Fence Again at Turkish Border

November 7, 2021

ATHENS – Having just completed extending an anti-refugee fence near the Evros River on the border with Turkey, Greece’s New Democracy government is looking to lengthen it even further.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis sent a letter to the European Union’s Home Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson in early October to see if the European Union would fund the extension but it was rejected, said Kathimerini.

Mitarakis informed Johansson about Greece’s intention to include the construction of a new artificial barrier in the financial program for the period 2021-2027, without referring to further details of the project, the paper said.

Johnson said that Greece already has an obligation to guard its borders although EU officials earlier had said funding for projects could be withheld over complaints Greece was pushing back refugees and migrants seeking asylum.

She said the EU was willing to finance the purchase and installation at the border of technological equipment for surveillance, but not to cover the cost of building a new fence.

Sources not named told the paper that the Hellenic Police (ELAS) and the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection were involved in the proposal to add another 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) to the already-extended fence.

It’s aimed at covering the distance from Didymoteicho to Tychero, along which the Evros River serves as a natural border, police telling the paper that’s the area where refugees and migrants most often pick to try to cross.

There has been a 12.5-kilometer (7.7-mile) long fence at the land border since 2011 and another 27.5 kilometers (17.08 miles) has recently been completed, Greece anxious that more Afghan refugees fleeing the murderous rule of the Taliban would be coming, although that hasn’t happened.

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