Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has pledged to extend the existing wall at Evros across all of the country’s land border with Turkey if re-elected in the upcoming national elections.
Mitsotakis made the election pledge during a ceremony on Friday where he signed off his centre-right government’s decision to nearly double the length of the existing steel border wall over the next year.
The wall currently spans 37.5 kilometres and the government plans to extend it by 35 kilometres over the next 12 months. More than 100 kilometres of wall will be added to that by 2026, government officials said.
At the ceremony, Mitsotakis accused his political opponents from the left-wing SYRIZA party of trying to undermine the project and to block the government’s attempt to obtain European Union (EU) funding for it.
A recent amendment was tabled by SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis for the EU to stop the financing of such fences.
“The opposition must take a stand: Will it tear down the fence by returning to open border logic? There is no room for half-truths here,” Mitsotakis said.
“If we do not manage to find European resources to finance it [the border wall extension], we will finance it with national resources, because it is a national necessity.”
SYRIZA officials accused the government of misrepresenting the opposition’s position, adding that the EU’s executive commission already ruled out providing direct funding for border walls.
Source: AP News.