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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Greece. Fence on the border with Turkey. Concerns about the waves of migrants from Afghanistan

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The Greek authorities, fearing an increase in the number of migrants from Afghanistan, decided to erect a 40-kilometer fence on the border with Turkey and install a new surveillance system there. After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that his country would not be “a European refugee warehouse”. “Our borders will remain intact,” said Michalis Chrisochoidis, Greek Minister for the Protection of Citizens.

“We cannot passively wait for the possible consequences of a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan,” said Greek Minister of Citizens’ Protection Michalis Chrisochoidis during Friday’s visit to the Evros region bordering Turkey. – Our borders will remain intact – he stressed. The minister responded in this way to the appeal of the Turkish government for European countries to be ready for the possible influx of refugees from Afghanistan. “Turkey has no obligation to be a European refugee warehouse,” commented President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.

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During a phone call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Micotakis, Erdogan noted that the increase in Afghans leaving his country could be “a serious challenge for all.” “A new wave of migration will be inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Iran and Afghanistan,” he added.

Micotakis said the crisis has created “new opportunities for the influx of migrants to Europe”.

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Fence at the border between Greece and TurkeyReuters

Afghans are leaving the country

The rapid seizure of power in Afghanistan by the Taliban after the withdrawal of US troops has caused many Afghans to try to flee their country. In 2015, there was a migration crisis as over a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East tried to get to Europe. Greece’s borders were then on the front lines. Most of the refugees traveled further north of Europe, but some 60,000 people stayed in Greece.

One of the elements of solving the migration crisis 6 years ago was the agreement that the European Union concluded with the authorities in Ankara in 2016. The Turkish authorities have committed themselves to accepting back migrants who have entered the EU illegally, and to prevent refugees present in their home country from moving to Europe. In return, the EU was to provide Turkey with around EUR 6 billion in financial aid and pledged to liberalize the visa law for Turkish citizens and speed up negotiations on its accession to the Union.

Two waves of refugees

Main photo source: Reuters



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