Greece increasing border wall, requires EU assistance on migration
FERES, Greece (AP) — Greece prevented round 260,000 migrants from coming into illegally in 2022 and arrested 1,500 traffickers, an official stated Saturday.
Residents’ Safety Minister Takis Theodorikakos was talking to ambassadors from different European Union international locations plus Switzerland and the UK as he guided them to a nonetheless expanding border wall within the nation’s northeast.
Theodorikakos emphasised to the 28 envoys that Greece’s border can also be the EU’s exterior border.
“The duty (of defending the border) wants the help … of European public opinion, the European Union itself and its constituent members individually,” Theodorikakos stated. “It’s our steadfast place that member states of first reception can’t be (the migrants’) solely European locations.
“There should be solidarity amongst member-states and a good sharing of duties…shut coordination is a should,” he stated.
The Greek minister’s sentiments have been echoed by Cypriot Ambassador Kyriakos Kenevezos, who spoke of the “want for understanding” from international locations that do not have exterior EU borders.
U.Okay. Ambassador Matthew Lodge stated that “our precedence is to guard the human life and dignity endangered by the felony trafficking networks … regardless that we’re now not an EU member, we’re carefully cooperating,”
Greece’s five-meter (16-foot) metal wall dealing with neighboring Turkey to the east throughout the Evros River — referred to as Meric in Turkey — at the moment extends greater than 27 kilometers (17 miles) and, in response to Greek authorities, helps cowl one other 10 kilometers (six miles). Greece is at the moment increasing the wall, including a 35-kilometer (22-mile) stretch with the final word purpose of extending it to cowl many of the 192-kilometer (120-mile) border.
Greece has repeatedly accused Turkey of weaponizing the plight of migrants by encouraging them to cross the border to discomfit Greece and the remainder of the EU — successfully cooperating with traffickers. Turkey accuses Greece of violent pushbacks that endanger the lives of migrants.
Turkey, whom the Cypriot ambassador referred to as “the elephant within the room” in Saturday’s assembly, additionally has its personal migrants’ drawback — internet hosting about 5 million of them. EU leaders are apprehensive that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might encourage a mass exodus to the EU, the place many of the migrants and refugees wish to find yourself, ideally at one of many extra affluent bloc members.
The EU’s border safety company, Frontex, will add one other 400 border guards in Greece — 250 of them in February — to the prevailing 1,800-member power, Theodorikakos stated.
Demetris Nellas contributed to this report from Athens.
Comply with AP’s protection of world migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration
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