Greece builds 25-mile border fence to stop migrants after Afghanistan falls to the Taliban

21 August 2021, 14:10 | Updated: 21 August 2021, 14:24

Greece has built a new border wall to stop migrants entering Europe
Greece has built a new border wall to stop migrants entering Europe. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Greece has finished building a 25-mile border fence to stop potential migrants from reaching Europe after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.

Evacuations are under way at Kabul airport but with reports suggesting not everyone will make it out, some refugees may try to leave over land.

There are fears in the European Union that the Taliban's seizure of Afghanistan could trigger similar scenes to the 2015 crisis, according to Reuters, when nearly a million people came to Greece through Turkey as they fled war and persecution in the Middle East.

At that time, the migrants used Greece as a gateway to northern Europe.

Read more: 'Several killed' as Afghans protest Taliban rule on Independence Day

Read more: PM to call for increase in aid to Afghanistan to avert humanitarian crisis

Citizens' Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said: "We cannot wait, passively, for the possible impact. Our borders will remain safe and inviolable."

The project, on the land border with Turkey, also includes a surveillance system.

While the UK, US and other countries are trying to get their citizens and Afghans who helped them out of the country, the timeframe available is limited.

There are fears the UK and others are in a race against time if the US does withdraw by August 31 – though President Joe Biden has pledged to stay as long as is necessary.

American troops securing Kabul airport are vital to the effort.

But there are fears not everyone will get out while the Taliban looks to secure its position as the new governing force in Afghanistan.

That could force people into fleeing the landlocked nation, potentially travelling to Europe through Iran and Turkey.

Despite the Taliban's publicity blitz, reports have emerged that its fighters have carried out targeted killings and gone door-to-door looking for its enemies.

The last time the group ruled Afghanistan, public executions happened regularly and women were largely confined to the home.

Afghans have been left fearful the Taliban will return the country to those rules.