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Gov't: 'We're protecting our borders'

Δημοσίευση 5 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:11 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Gov't: 'We're protecting our borders'
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Deputy Citizens' Protection Minister Manolis Othonas on Tuesday echoed high-profile statements by Minister Christos Papoutsis this past week on the need for a much tough stance against illegal immigration, with the emphasis now shifting to Greece's land border with Turkey on the Evros River.

Deputy Citizens' Protection Minister Manolis Othonas on Tuesday echoed high-profile statements by Minister Christos Papoutsis this past week on the need for a much tough stance against illegal immigration, with the emphasis now shifting to Greece's land border with Turkey on the Evros River.

Othonas directly referred to "hypocrisy" on the part of the European Commission, which criticised the Greek government's intention to build a fence along a stretch of its land border with Turkey in the Evros prefecture -- a "favourite" spot for mostly Third World migrants and migrant smugglers attempting to enter Greece and the European Union.

Speaking to Athens radio station, the deputy minister charged that "Greek society's breaking points aren't up for hypocrisies," while he reiterated that the issue of illegal immigration is a European-wide problem and not just a Greek problem, "and Europe should assume its responsibilities".

Regarding the fence, the deputy minister said it will be constructed as soon as possible and will bring about "dramatic results".

"We're not going to erect a wall to separate migrants from the (local) residents; we're protecting our borders," he emphasised.

The project, announced by Papoutsis on Friday in an interview with the ANA-MPA, envisions a 12.5-kilometre fence on a stretch of land belonging to Turkey west of the Evros River, near the Turkish city of Edirne. It will be modelled on a similar barrier around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on the North Africa coast of Morocco.