Greece strengthens border with Turkey

Shiva Singh
Greece and Republic of Turkey are the two neighboring countries flags

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Greece has strengthened its border with Turkey, stepping up patrols on land and sea to curb an expected wave of arrivals.

The earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria is expected to drive a wave of migration to the EU if humanitarian assistance does not reach the people in need, according to The Guardian reporting on Sunday.

More than 50,000 people were killed in the earthquake that struck on 6 February and left many homeless.

“The mass movement of millions of people is not a solution,” Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi noted and stressed the importance of providing emergency aid to earthquake-struck areas “before this happens.”

Speaking at the European order management conference in Greece on Friday, Mitarachi stressed the importance of stepping up border protection by building more walls and increasing surveillance.

He stressed that Greece will expand the wall along EU’s external border whether the bloc finances the project or not, noting that the wall will be doubled in size this year.

“The fence will be extended along the entire length of the [Evros] river so that we can protect the European continent from illegal flows,” he stated.

Stricter approach

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, has taken a tougher approach to illegal migration than his predecessor. While critics have alleged illegal use of force at the border, the Greek government stressed its policies were “strict but fair.”

As the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is strengthening patrols in the Aegean Sea, human traffickers and illegal migrants are increasingly avoiding Greek islands and aiming for Italy.

EU ministers who attended the conference called for more financial support “for all types of border protection infrastructure” and agreements with non-EU countries to take in migrants.

“It is at this point crucial for Europe to decide what type of migration policy we want, and more specifically what type of border management we want,” Mitarachi pointed out and stressed “clearly, we need to offer asylum to people in need of protection, but in an orderly way.”

“Today, unfortunately, instead of us being proactive in asylum management, it is people-smugglers who sell places in our societies – no to those most in need, but to those who pay the fees,” he concluded.

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Shiva is a professional digital marketer who covers the latest updates in the tech industry from across the globe. With an experience of over 5 years in the world of Information Technology, he likes to keep up with every major development and writes fact-based pieces backed by in-depth research.