Athens, Oct 22 : The Greek government has finalized the decision of building a wall at the North Eastern border with Turkey to avoid the movement of migrants into the country. Government Spokesman Stelios Petsas has informed that the 26 kilometers (16 miles) of wall would be added to an existing 10-kilometer (six-mile) section in a 63-million-euro (USD 74 million) project due to be completed by the end of April next year.
Earlier this year in January, the Greek government had announced plans to install floating barriers in the sea between its Aegean islands and the coast of Turkey in order to deal with illegal migrants. At that time the International human rights organization Amnesty International had criticised Greece’s plans to deploy a floating barrier, director of the organization for Europe, Massimo Moratti, described the idea as “an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores.”
However, considering the prevailing tensions between the two countries and continuing efforts of migrants to flee into Europe through Greece, Greece is still worried that Turkey might again try to get refugees and migrants to cross over. Greece is deploying strict security at the border. The government has decided to install eight elevated observatories, manned by the Greek army with outposts as patrolling spots to try to catch people before they can sneak across into Greece.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the border region on Oct 18, after a test installation of a section of the new wall. Turkey holds the largest number of refugees in the world, at nearly 4 million people. Most of them hail from Syria, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. During the pandemic a dip was seen in the numbers of illegal immigrants trying to intrude in the Greek lands. However, the rising tensions between the two nations has raised the security issues alarmingly.