Greece starts building border fence with Turkey

Greece starts building border fence with Turkey

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greece starts building border fence with Turkey

Police cars are parked under an observation tower, on the construction site of a border fence with Turkey. AP photo

Greece Feb. 6 started building a fence on its border with Turkey to keep out thousands of illegal migrants and refugees seeking to cross into Europe, a minister said.

 “This is a project which has practical and symbolic value,” Citizen’s Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis told reporters at the site on the banks of Evros River in northeastern Greece. “It will discourage people smugglers and illegal migration and send a message that Greece is not a free-for-all.

We will not allow Greece to become a transit country to other European Union member states,” Papoutsis said. The 10-kilometre barrier will be 2.5 meters high and includes a double row of barbed wire as well as 25 cameras. Its cost is estimated at 5.5 million Euros and it is due to be completed in five months.

The border runs a total of 150 kilometers and is a major crossing point for would-be immigrants trying to enter the European Union. Around 55,000 migrants were arrested in the area last year, an increase of 16.77 percent compared to 2010, according to official figures.

Greece, Turkey