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Politics

The Great Greek Wall: Refugees, Migrants Need Not Enter Here

ATHENS – While fending off accusations of pushing back refugees and migrants and prosecuting activists for helping them, Greece is speeding plans to extend a border wall to keep them out.

The New Democracy government has turned toward deterring them from coming, most from Turkey where they had gone fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands.

Turkey is allowing human traffickers to keep sending them – while Greece has taken to court some 24 human rights workers and accusing them of abetting smuggling for rescuing migrants and refugees at sea.

But many try to get into Greece along the northern border with Turkey at the Evros River and the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it will lengthen an anti-refugee wall there by 56 kilometers  (35 miles.)

In a feature report, The Voice of America noted the 16-foot high wall, made of steel columns and topped with razor wire and an anti-grip metal scaling barrier is designed to stop refugees from entering along there.

It will be 160 kilometers (99.4 miles) long and try to seal the border with Turkey, Greece the latest European Union country to rely on a wall after initially welcoming refugees and migrants who began arriving in 2015.

Mitsotakis recently visited the area near the growing port of Alexandroupolis to check on the plans that will cost more than $100 million to erect the extension although river is so treacherous that many have died trying to cross.

Authorities said that the current wall kept some 250,000 migrants and refugees from getting into Greece, the favored destination, most wanting asylum and scores of thousands who got in earlier kept in detention camps.

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