Greece has started building a new section of wall along its border with Turkey, after several stand-offs with the Middle Eastern nation over illegal immigration.
The Hellenic Army will build an extra 16 miles (27km) of fence as well as upgrading its existing border protection with steel railing measuring just over 4 metres in height, featuring concrete foundations and galvanized square steel tubes.
With a budget of €63 million and an expected completion date of April 2021, the project was announced this week by the Greek government spokesman, Stelios Petsas.
Police are also trialing “high-powered mobile sirens, aimed at deterring migrants as they cross”, according to AP News, which reported a police chief in the Greece-Turkey border region saying: “The cameras will be a vital resource for us. We have been asking for them for five years and we think they will be very effective.”
The development comes after stand-offs with Turkey, which hosts around 4 million third world migrants, over illegal immigration, with Ankara sending thousands of migrants to the Greek border earlier in April after warning it would re-open the floodgates of mass migration.
WATCH: Turkey Arms Migrants with Tear Gas, Sends Freed Prisoners to Border, Claims Greek Government https://t.co/Y7F6saZiTA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 6, 2020
Turkey previously opened the border back in February, with Athens accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of busing migrants to the European border, and arming them with tear gas canisters to fight Greek border officials.
Greece blasted the move as “an aggressive plan to brutally blackmail Greece and Europe with a ‘weapon’ of migrant exploitation”, as Turkey sought to pressure its NATO allies into backing its military campaign against Syria and Russia in the former country’s Idlib province.
Open borders-backing NGOs and the Turkish government have been furious at Greece’s efforts to secure the country’s frontiers, accusing Athens of illegal pushbacks after reports that some boats of migrants have been safely returned to Turkish waters rather than welcomed onto Greek soil.
“Pushbacks are inherently violent, not only physically but mentally,” claimed Amelia Cooper, the advocacy and communications officer for Lesbos Legal Centre.
Following Erdogan’s opening of the border in February, conservative Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán said the move highlighted the challenges facing Europe with regards to mass migration from the third world.
Erdogan Opens the Gates: Syrian Migrants Granted Unhindered Passage to Europe https://t.co/BdLPQiqQC1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 28, 2020
“The upward flow [of migrants] from the south is a historical trend, and we stand in the way,” he vowed, adding: “Where will the flow from the south be stopped? I have always maintained that the invasion of migratory masses is wave-like.
“We must expect another migratory wave and mass attack on the Hungarian border fence, [and] the Hungarian border must be protected,” the populist leader said.
Budapest has seen huge results from its decision to secure the country’s borders physically after German Chancellor Angela Merkel invited millions of migrants to live in Europe in 2015.
The central European nation saw illegal immigration cut by more than 99 per cent after rolling out a series of powerful border fences, the government announced in 2017.
Effective moves to protect the continent from mass migration have sparked anger from some politicians in Europe, however, with the supposedly “centrist” European Liberals last year releasing a campaign video for EU Parliament elections last year in which they vowed to smash border fences.
Europhile Verhofstadt Smashes Border Wall With Own Head in Bizarre New EU Election Ad https://t.co/mzYpPaZ1Lq
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 28, 2019