Greece border force ‘on alert’ amidst Afghanistan crisis

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Greece’s border forces are on alert amidst the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan. 

Greek government spokesperson Yannis Economou says border forces are hoping to avoid a repeat of the European migrant crisis which saw nearly one million people fleeing conflicts arrive five years ago. 

“All forces are on alert at the borders, we will not allow a reliving of the scenes of 2015,” he told a news conference.

Government spokesperson Yannis Economou (Copyright: EUROKINISSI / ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ)

The Taliban’s takeover has stoked the fear of an exodus of Afghans. 

Thousands have already fled or are desperately trying to board flights from the capital Kabul. 

European Union (EU) member states have sought a coordinated response as they watch the country’s crisis unfold. 

Around 500 Afghan asylum seekers and local activists protested in Lesbos – where there are about 2,500 Afghans – on Monday. 

They worry about friends and family back home and demonstrated with banners that read: “We say no to Taliban.” 

Afghan migrants demonstrate against the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, August 16, 2021 (REUTERS/Elias Marcou)

The EU has urged member states to ramp up admission quotas for Afghans in need of protection.

Economou says Greece’s foreign ministry is planning to repatriate eight Afghan nationals who worked with Greek forces. 

“We will not stop until we bring them back to our country,” Economou says.

Source: Reuters

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