Greece to extend fence on land border with Turkey
Greece is preparing to extend a cement and barbed-wire fence along its northern border with Turkey in a bit to prevent migrants from entering the country, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Athens.
Another 140 kilometres will be added to the 40-kilometres fence, Greek Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said during a visit in the region of Evros, a popular crossing point for migrants.
The wall along the country's border with Turkey was built in 2012 and last extended in 2021 following attempts for an influx by tens of thousands of asylum seekers into the country in an bid to cross into the European Union.
Turkey and Greece have for decades been at odds over a string of issues, including territorial claims in the Aegean , disagreements over the airspace there and migrants.
In 2016, Turkey committed to take tougher measures to prevent new sea or land routes for irregular migration from Turkey to the EU from opening up, but last year the country said it would no longer do so.
In the first seven months of this year, Greek authorities arrested 7,484 refugees and migrants, of which 3,554 were in Evros, according to official data.
The latest extension of the wall aims to send a clear message of Greece's determination "against those who invest in human suffering to serve concealed interests" and "against those who weaponize migration in an attempt to blackmail Europe,"Theodorikakos said.
The Greek government official also said the government is looking to hire 250 border guards and upgrade its surveillance systems in the region.