EU refuses to fund Greek border fence with Turkey
BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
Police cars are parked under an observation tower, on the construction site of a border fence with Turkey. AP photoThe European Commission rejected Feb. 7 a request from Greece to help pay to build a fence along its porous border with Turkey, calling the project “pointless.” Greece started building the 10-kilometer long, 2.5-meter high barrier along the Turkish border Feb. 6 to prevent thousands of illegal migrants from streaming into the EU.
The cost is estimated at 5.5 million euros. “The commission has decided not to follow up the Greek request because it considers it pointless,” Michele Cercone, a European Commission spokesman, told a news briefing. “Fences and walls are short term measures that do not solve migration management issues in a structural way.” It is up to EU states to decide how to secure their borders, but they have to take into account “international obligations including the respect of migrants, human rights,” Cercone said. Greece is slated to received 90 million euros from the EU this year to help it deal with an influx of migrants and asylum seekers “What the country needs is medium and long term reforms ato better manage its borders in a modern and human way,” Cercone said.