“Greece will not become the gateway to Europe for irregular migratory flows”

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Athens, August 28 (IANS) Greece will not become a gateway to Europe for irregular migration flows, as happened during the period 2015-2019, the Minister of Country Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, highlighting recent developments in Afghanistan.

Mitarachi’s remarks on Friday come as the Taliban’s takeover of most of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US forces has raised deep concerns in Greece, as well as across Europe, over a possible repetition of mass migration flows and the humanitarian crisis of recent years, reports Xinhua news agency.

Since 2015, more than a million people have reached Greece fleeing war zones and extreme poverty, and most have continued their journey to other European countries until the borders along the way from the Balkans to Central Europe are sealed off.

Currently, Greece is on high alert and is stepping up security along the borders with Turkey, officials in Athens said.

The erection of a fence along the Turkish border in the north was completed a few days ago, the government said.

The 27 km long and five meter high steel fence was added to an existing 12.5 km long wall, which was reinforced.

A new electronic border surveillance system had also been installed.

The project, which cost nearly 63 million euros ($ 74 million), began last year following increased pressure on this part of the borders by thousands of asylum seekers in March 2020.

“The Afghan crisis is creating new data in the geopolitical sphere and at the same time creating possibilities for migratory flows. We must prepare for the possible consequences,” Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis told the Greek national television channel ERT. during a recent visit. to the region.

The Greek government is in talks with the European Union (EU) to finance the extension of the border fence, the local news site “in.gr” reported.

The country also called for rapid and close cooperation between EU member states and with third countries to address new challenges.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan jointly urged the international community last week to provide more support to countries closer to Afghanistan to manage the crisis.

–IANS

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