Greece announced on Friday that it had extended its border wall with Turkey as part of its efforts to prevent migrants from arriving from Afghanistan, amid European fears a wave of Afghan migrants triggered by the takeover of Taliban.
Reuters reported that the 40 km fence is accompanied by a new automatic electronic surveillance system to stop migrants who may pass through Turkey in the coming months.
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“We cannot passively wait for the possible impact,” Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis told reporters after visiting the Evros region. “Our borders will remain secure and inviolable.”
It’s a message echoing across Europe, which still remembers the 2015 migration crisis – sparked by the turmoil in Syria – which ravaged the continent, changed the border security debate and led to victories. of several populist parties.
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Austria, where a right-wing government took power in the years following the crisis, was one of many who argued that migrants should be hosted in the region rather than in Europe. He also suggested creating “deportation centers” in countries close to Afghanistan to allow the deportation of Afghans.
“It must be our aim to keep the majority of the population in the region,” Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said this week.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose pledge of “wir shaffen das” (“we can do it”) was a slogan of European optimism in the face of the 2015 crisis, also emphasized the need to install refugees near Afghanistan.
“This is mainly about helping neighboring countries that Afghan refugees might be able to travel to,” Merkel told reporters.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged a “robust” response to the crisis.
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“We must anticipate and protect ourselves against significant irregular migratory flows that would endanger migrants and risk encouraging trafficking of all kinds,” Macron said in a televised address, according to France 24.
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Britain will welcome 5,000 Afghan refugees this year, but added: “By the way, we will not allow people from Afghanistan to come to this country either. blindly “.
“We want to be generous but we have to make sure that we look after our own safety,” he said.
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Meanwhile, in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned his European neighbors that “Turkey has no duty, no responsibility or obligation to be Europe’s repository for refugees.”
Erdoğan meanwhile praised how his own government had beefed up its border security on the border with Iran with military personnel and a new wall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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