Greece Builds face

Greece Builds 25-mile Fence to Fend Off Afghan Refugees

Greece Builds 25-mile Fence to Fend Off Afghan Refugees. Greece has erected a 25-mile fence and installed a new surveillance system on its border with Turkey as fears mount of a surge in Afghan refugees trying to reach Europe. Greece has faced recurring refugee crises since 2015, when more than a million mainly Syrian refugees swarmed through its land and sea borders to escape conflict in their homeland.

Speaking from Checkpoint One, Greece’s key border post along the country’s rugged land frontiers with Turkey, Public Order Minister Michalis Chryssochoidis sounded what he called a clear and fair warning.

Our borders, he said, will remain safe and inviolable. And we will not allow any indiscriminate inflow of refugees.

The minister’s warning sounded as he toured the checkpoint and a soaring, 25-mile, steel fence completed in recent days amid fears of a deluge of Afghan refugees fleeing for their lives after the Taliban takeover.

Afghan Refugees in Turkey Terrified at Taliban Takeover

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said the Greek fence along the shallow Evros river that separates the country from Turkey is just part of a bigger plan pieced together by authorities to further shield the country against a new migration crisis.

We are on alert, but Greece, he said, will continue to protect itself from any threat.

The defense minister said special surveillance systems, including a fleet of drones and night cameras, had been installed across the new fence to watch for illegal crossings. Army bulldozers were also seen plowing across stretches of the country’s northern frontier with Bulgaria, where military trucks were unloading barbed wired to erect more fences.

Greece has been on the front line of Europe’s migration woes since about 1.2 million refugees from Syria streamed through in 2015, sparking the biggest migration push to the European continent since the Second World War.

Greece has repeatedly complained to the European Union about doing too little to support hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees trapped in the country for six years, as neighboring states and other European nations, including Germany, turned a blind eye, sealing their borders to keep them away.

The United Nations is now making appeals for countries in the region to not do the same to fleeing Afghanis.But the government in Athens says it won’t sit passively.

In fact, in a surprise move. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis placed an urgent telephone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday trying to drum up support and a common strategy on how to deal with a potential migration crisis in the region.

Details of the meeting or any decision between the two men were not released. But no sooner had the call ended than Erdogan warned Europe he too would not allow Turkey to become what he called a refugee warehouse.

Turkey is already hosting 3.6 million Syrian refugees and more than 300,000 Afghans.

In Greece, meanwhile, humanitarian groups, Afghan refugees and leftist parties are now up in arms about the border fence and the government’s controversial plan of deterrence.Those groups say the plan completely disregards human rights and the right to asylum to those fleeing danger and bloodshed.

AMAGANSETT, New York (Reuters) -The U.S. East Coast braced on Saturday to take a direct hit from Hurricane Henri as it threatened to pound the region with fierce winds and heavy rains that could cause “life-threatening” storm surge and flooding, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

As of Saturday afternoon, the storm was gathering strength, packing 75 mph (120 kph) winds while it moved north about 180 miles east of North Carolina. On its current track, Henri was expected to make landfall in Long Island, New York or southern New England on Sunday evening, the center said in an advisory.

More than 42 million people in the region were under a hurricane or tropical storm warning on Saturday, the NHC said.

Parts of Long Island, New York, and New Haven, Connecticut, were under hurricane and storm surge warnings. Other parts of New England, such as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, were under surge and tropical storm watches and warnings.

“This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions,” the NHC said.

New York City, the largest city in the U.S., was under a tropical storm warning. Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents in a Twitter post to stay home on Sunday and to use public transportation if they need to travel.

Emergency management officials said heavy rainfall and damaging winds could flood roadways and reduce visibility throughout the weekend.

“Secure outdoor objects and make sure you are in a safe location before the onset of wind and rain!,” New York City Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani wrote in an Tweet on Saturday.

The center warned Henri could produce storm surges of 3 to 5 feet along the coast in New England, 75 mph or higher wind gusts and rains of 3 to 6 inches with 10 inches in isolated areas.


In the tiny Hampton hamlet of Amagansett, New York, home to Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin and Gwyneth Paltrow, normally well-heeled residents packed supermarkets, hardware and liquor stores early Saturday morning.

At the IGA supermarket, shelves were stripped bare of toilet paper, paper towels and other supplies. Motorists waited in long lines at gas stations while stores ran out of flashlights.

Some of the most patient shoppers stood in a long line at the Balsam Farm Stand, which was packed with anxious shoppers filling bags with heirloom tomatoes, organic zucchinis, $9 free range eggs and hand-crafted mozzarella.

Michael Cinque, the owner of the Amagansett Wine & Spirit, deliberated whether to board up the windows of his store as shoppers streamed in and then out with bottles of tequila, vodka and other expensive liquors.

“You always have to be prepared,” said Cinque, who has owned the store for 42 years and also volunteers as an emergency responder. “You have to take it seriously.”

In his back storeroom, he shifted pink wine boxes to get near a wooden board that listed all of the hurricanes and “big ones” that the liquor store had weathered, going back to the New England hurricane of September 1938.

The last entry listed on Cinque’s board was 1985, when six hurricanes made landfall in the United States, tying with 1886 and 2020 for the record.

Cinque remembers the town being hit hard back then by the series of storms. One of them was even called Henri.

Asked if he thought this Henri could cause as much damage, he said was preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

“This is a low lying area. It all depends on the timing. It’s a full moon and a high tide, so if it hits…” he said. “Roll up your pants.”

In Newport, Rhode Island, a coastal yachting community of 25,000 people, sump pumps, flashlights and generators were also in high demand.

“They’re preparing from past experience,” Newport Hardware sales associate Hank Lopes told the Newport Daily News. “In low-lying areas like around here, people’s basements will flood even during a little rainstorm, not to mention what might be headed this way.”

Eversource, the largest electric utility company in Connecticut, warned residents to be prepared for power outages for up to five to 10 days.

“I do need to ask for patience,” Eversource President and CEO Joe Nolan said during a news conference on Friday, calling Henri a “very, very serious storm.”

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont activated the National Guard in their states to help in possible rescue, debris clearing and public safety efforts.

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