ATHENS – Trying to keep out refugees and migrants who aren’t welcome, Greece’s New Democracy government plans to add another 26 kilometers (16.15 miles) to a fence along the border with Turkey near the Evros River.
The news came from Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos to Parliament’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, adding there will also be repairs to the existing fence to further security.
“What happened in Evros in March 2020 is now known to everyone. It was not a spontaneous attempt by illegal migrants and refugees to enter Greek territory, but an organized operation by the Turkish authorities, which, using illegal immigrants, had the clear intention to massively violate Greek borders,” he said.
That was in reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan busing 10,000 refugees and migrants there and urging them to try to cross but they were repelled by Greek riot police and army squads.
Turkey is holding some 4.4 million refugees and migrants who went there fleeing war, strife and econonic hardship in their homelands, ranging from Syria and Afghanistan to sub-Saharan Africa.
After the EU losed its borders to them and some countries reneged on promises to help take some over the overload, some 100,000 were left in Greece to seek asylum, held in detention centers on islands the mainland.
Theodorikakos said that from April to the end of November, 143,472 people were prevented from entering Greece, compared to 98,798 people in the same period last year, reported Kathimerini.
The security forces along the border will also be beefed up with another 550 additions, 250 of whom will be stationed in Alexandroupoli and the rest in the three regional units of Eastern Macedonia, the report said.
In August, the government said a 40-kilometer (24.9 mile) long wall was put in place, anticipating a wave of refugees from Afghanistan when the Taliban took over rule but it didn’t materialize then.