Afghanistan crisis | Greece wants to avoid a new wave of refugees in Europe

(Athens) With the return of the Taliban to power in Kabul, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday that he wanted to prevent “additional flows of refugees from arriving in Europe”.

Posted on Aug 23, 2021 at 10:02 am

At a meeting in Athens with the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, the Greek Prime Minister said: “It was important that the European Union supports countries near Afghanistan to ensure that no additional flows of refugees arrive”. in Europe “.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis had already spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on this Friday.

“A new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and Iran,” warned the Turkish president.

The Taliban’s seizure of power in Kabul has plunged the future of many Afghans into uncertainty and aroused fear in Europe of a migration crisis similar to that of 2015, with the influx of millions of people fleeing the conflicts in the Middle East and passing through Turkey.

“Greece will not easily cope with a possible escalation of the issue of immigration and refugees,” said government spokesman Yannis Oikonomou on Monday, who warned a few days ago that “all forces are on alert at the borders”.

According to the government, reinforcements are to be stationed on the land border with Turkey in Evros and on the Aegean islands.

The extension of the wall by 40 kilometers in Evros, along the river between Greece and Turkey, is in the final phase and new drones, cameras and radars are to be installed, which will enable a range of vision of up to 10 kilometers on the Turkish side, and According to the Greek press, 250 border guards will be hired.

However, it was decided to step up surveillance on the Greek-Turkish border in February-March 2020 when Ankara threatened to let the refugees pass on its soil in Europe.

Tens of thousands of migrants then poured into Greece at the Kastanies border post (Pazarkule, Turkish side), where clashes broke out for several days.

The Greek border “remains secure and impenetrable,” stressed Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos on Friday when visiting the new facilities in Evros.

Greece currently hosts 40,000 asylum seekers and Afghan refugees. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Afghan nationality is the first among migrants arriving in Greece.

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