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Greece hardens policies against Afghan migrants

Greece

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during the World Conservation Congress (WCC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held in Marseille, France September 3, 2021. Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Greece plans to intercept another wave of Afghan asylum-seekers and needs the help of the EU, the Prime Minister said on Sunday.

The migrants are escaping the Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s takeover of the government in Afghanistan has raised concerns over a replay of the 2015 crisis.

Nearly a million Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans ran away to Greece from Turkey.

Ever since, the EU has argued rules and is planning to make a new migration deal.

“I’ll say it again: we cannot have European countries who believe Greece should resolve this alone,” PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

“Or think it doesn’t concern them at all because they can keep their borders tightly and hermetically shut,” he added.

While Greece has received EU solidarity in financial aid, the government said it doesn’t intend to seek Europ’s gateway again.

“We are the ones doing the work: the coastguard, the police, the armed forces, and we will continue to do so,” Mitsotakis said.

Greece has toughened its position by putting fences around migrant camps, such as the 40-km fence in Evros near the Turkish border.

Also, it launched tenders to build processing facilities on islands near Turkey, which ignited criticism from Human Rights groups.

A new facility on the island of Samos will finish on Saturday.

“We have the infrastructure in the event that we are faced with a new wave,” Mitsotakis said.

He added that Greece could extend the Evros border fence if necessary.

“I will break and crush trafficking networks…, their potential customers will know they could pay $1,000 or $2,000 and not reach Greece,” he continued.

Mitsotakis said that the best method Europe can show its solidarity is by agreeing common asylum policies.

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