The Greek government announced on Sunday its intention to extend the wall along its border with Turkey by 35 km. The Greek State will bear the cost, estimated at about €100 million, Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos told the Skai news channel.
The European Union has so far not approved Athens’ request for funding. Work on extending the wall is expected to be completed in about 10 months, Theodorikakos added.
In recent years, Greece has been building a 37.5 km, five-metre-high wall at shallow crossings of the Evros River along the border with Turkey to prevent migrants from entering its territory.
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According to official statistics, Greek border guards have prevented some 256,000 migrants from crossing the river and law enforcement agencies have arrested 1,300 smugglers in recent years.
Human rights activists regularly accuse Athens of illegally turning back to Turkey exiles seeking to build a better life in Europe.