Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Greece to build 128-mile anti-EU-migrant wall

pic: getty

"Illegal immigration has been a major problem for European Union countries, which many people believe can offer a better quality of life than they currently have. Located on the union’s eastern border, our neighbor Greece has been considered an expressway to the EU, which in turn has increased the pressure on Greek authorities to fight illegal immigration. As we reported yesterday, Greece now mulls a plan to build a wall – or a fence – on the country’s border with Turkey, hoping that the flow of migrants through Turkey can be tackled. “Greece cannot take it any more,” Greece’s immigration minister, Christos Papoutsis, told the Greek news agency Ana, adding that the border barrier would be similar to the one built by the United States along its border with Mexico.

The Turkish-Greek border is one of the most popular destinations for asylum seekers from countries such as Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan who are trying to reach Europe. Greece currently accounts for 90 percent of the EU’s detected illegal border crossings, figures from the European border agency Frontex show...

The wall built between the U.S. and Mexico, which covers nearly one-third of the 3,000-kilometer-long land border between the two countries, has failed to help deal with the issue, resulting in U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision in March to freeze a project to expand the fence. Greece’s move might also work as a litmus test to see if EU opinion on border walls has changed in the last few years. In April 2007, Javier Solana who was the European Union foreign policy at the time, criticized U.S. plans to extend barriers on the Mexican border. "A wall that separates one country from another is not something that I like or that European Union members like," Solana said at a news conference in Mexico City. "We don't think walls are reasonable instruments to stop people from crossing into a country." Solana added that the EU believes immigrants should be treated "like people, not like criminals."... Link

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