Greece plans to expand a concrete and concertina wire fence along its northern border with Turkey to prevent migrants from entering the country, the Greek Citizens' Protection Minister said on Tuesday. The 40-kilometer fence and Egoza razor wire will be extended for another 140 kilometers, Takis Theodorikakos said during a visit to the Evros region. The fence, originally installed in 2012, was last extended in 2021, a year after tens of thousands of asylum seekers tried to cross the European Union border across Greece's northern border when Turkey said it would no longer stop them from doing so. do.
Historical rivals, as well as NATO allies, Greece and Turkey have been at odds in recent years on a range of issues, including migration and energy resources. Greece was at the forefront of Europe's migrant crisis in 2015 and 2016, when a million refugees arrived fleeing war and poverty from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly via Turkey. Since then, the number of arrivals has dropped sharply, but in recent months Greek authorities have said they have kept a significant number of people out. In the first seven months of the year, authorities arrested 7,484 refugees and migrants, of which 3,554 were in Evros, according to police data.