NEWS

Greece following Spanish model for Evros fence

Greece is studying Spain?s use of border fences in two of its cities on the North African coast ahead of the construction of a similar barrier to illegal immigrants and traffickers in the northeastern region of Evros.

Deputy Labor Minister Anna Dalara told Kathimerini that she has been looking at how Spanish authorities use and manage border fences in Ceuta and Melilla to prevent illegal immigration from sub-Saharan Africa. The construction in Melilla consists of 11 kilometers of parallel 3-meter high fences topped with barbed wire, with regular watchtowers and a road running between them to accommodate either police patrols or ambulances. It also has noise and movement sensors and video cameras. The fence in Ceuta is similarly equipped.

?The construction of the fences in Ceuta and Melilla has produced results,? said Dalara. ?There is also a reception center there, which helps for the proper treatment of migrants without papers. This could serve as an example for our reception centers.?

The Citizens? Protection Ministry last week announced the creation of two migrant reception centers in Attica (Elliniko and Amygdaleza) and three holding centers (Elliniko, Petrou Ralli Street and Aspropyrgos). Another seven holding centers will be built in other parts of Greece.

Greece is planning to build a 12.5-kilometer fence in Evros to deter illegal immigrants who enter the country from Turkey. However, Dalara noted that Spain had not just relied on fences to tackle immigration problems. ?The policy of assimilating migrants in which local authorities play a big part has also helped Spain,? she said.