• Greece to extend border fence over migration surge

    Greece will extend its fence on the border with Turkey, a government source said Sunday (8 March), amid continuing efforts by migrants to break through in a surge enabled by Ankara.

    “We have decided to immediately extend the fence in three different areas,” the government source told AFP, adding that the new sections, to the south of the area now under pressure, would cover around 36 kilometres (22 miles).

    The current stretch of fence will also be upgraded, the official added.

    Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers have been trying to break through the land border from Turkey for a week after Ankara announced it would no longer prevent people from trying to cross into the European Union.

    A police source Sunday told AFP that riot police reinforcements from around the country had been sent to the border in recent days, in addition to drones and police dogs.

    There have been numerous exchanges of tear gas and stones between Greek riot police and migrants.

    Turkey has also bombarded Greek forces with tear gas at regular intervals, and Athens has accused Turkish police of handing out wire cutters to migrants to help them break through the border fence.

    The Greek government over the weekend also released footage which it said showed a Turkish armoured vehicle assisting efforts to bring down the fence.

    “Parts of the fence have been removed, both by the (Turkish) vehicle and with wire cutters, but they are constantly being repaired,” local police unionist Elias Akidis told Skai TV.

    Turkey has accused Greek border guards of using undue force against the migrants, injuring many and killing at least five.

    The government in Athens has consistently dismissed the claim as lies.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/greece-to-extend-border-fence-over-migration-surge
    #murs #Evros #barrières_frontalières #Grèce #Turquie #frontières #extension
    ping @fil @reka @albertocampiphoto

    • je suis tombé sur une vidéo YT d’un compte néo-nazi montrant une attaque du mur de l’Evros par des migrants. L’attaque y est présentée comme soutenue par la police turque, ce qui est vraiment beaucoup solliciter les images… les migrants sont noyés sous les lacrymos.

    • Evros: Greece to extend the fence on the borders with Turkey to 40km

      Greece will extend the fence to its Evros borders with Turkey to 40 km, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Friday morning. The additional fence will be installed in “sensitive” areas preferred for illegal entries by migrants and refugees.

      The fence currently covers 12.5 km.

      Speaking to ANT1 TV, Petsas noted that at the moment the most vulnerable border point is in the south.

      The current 12.5 km fence of land access points is installed north and south of Kastanies customs office, where thousands of migrants and refugees have amassed.

      According to the daily Kathimerini, the 40 kilometers new fence is planned to be partially installed either in areas where the Evros waters are low or in areas where the landscape favors illegla paasage.

      Sections such as Ormenio, Gardens, Feres, Tychero, Soufli, Dikaia, Dilofo, Marassia, Nea Vyssa and elsewhere have been designated as the areas where the new fence will installed by the Greek Army and support by the police.

      According to a report by daily Elftheros Typos, Greece’s Plan B aside from the fence extension is the presence of about 4,000 police officers and soldiers in parallel patrols, helicopters, unmanned aircraft, message broadcasting, cameras for audio-video.

      A Greek Army – Greek Police “joint operations center” is to be established in Nea Vryssa.

      According to the daily more than 1,000 soldiers, two commandos squads, 1,500 police and national guards are currently operating in the Evros area.

      Petsas underlined that the Greek government has changed its policy because there is a national security issue at the moment.

      He reiterated the new policy saying that “no one will cross the border.”

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/03/06/evros-greece-fence-borders-turkey-extension

    • Video 2 - Violences contre les exilé·es à la frontière gréco-turque

      Depuis le début du mois de mars 2020, des milliers d’exilé·es, incité·es voire poussé·es par les autorités turques, se sont précipité·es aux frontières terrestres et maritimes entre la Turquie et la Grèce. Ils et elles se sont heurté·es à la violence de la police et de l’armée grecque, ainsi que de groupe fascistes, mobilisés pour leur en interdire le franchissement, la suite : www.gisti.org/spip.php ?article6368

      https://indymotion.fr/videos/watch/e8938a1c-5456-46e8-a0cb-be0806c96051?start=1s

    • Greece shields Evros border with blades wire, 400 new border guards

      Greece is strengthening ifs defense and is preparing for a possible new wave of migrants at its Evros border. A fence of sharp blades wire (concertina wire) and 400 additional border guards are to shield the country for the case Turkey will open its borders again so that migrants can cross into Europe.

      According to daily ethnos (https://www.ethnos.gr/ellada/105936_ohyronetai-o-ebros-frahtis-me-lepidoforo-syrmatoplegma-kai-400-neoi-sy), Ankara has already been holding groups of migrants in warehouses near the border, while the Greek side is methodically being prepared for the possibility of a new attempt for waves of migrants to try to cross again the border.

      “At the bridgeheads of Peplos and Fera, at the land borders after the riverbed is aligned, and in other vulnerable areas along the border, kilometer-long of metal fence with sharp blades wire are being installed, the soil is being cleaned from wild vegetation and clearing of marsh lands.

      The fence in the northern part is being strengthened and expanded, and 11 additional border pylons, each one 50 meters high, will be installed along the river in the near future. Each pylon will be equipped with cameras and modern day and night surveillance systems, with a range of several kilometers and multiple telecommunications capabilities, the daily notes.

      Within the next few months, 400 newly recruited border guards will be on duty and will almost double the deterrent force and enhance the joint patrols of the Army and Police, ethnos adds.

      Big armored military vehicles destined for Libya and confiscated five years ago south of Crete have been made available to the Army in the area, the daily notes.

      One and a half month after the end of the “war without arms” at the Evros border from end of February till the end of March, sporadic movement on the Turkish side of the border has been observed.

      At least four shooting incidents have been reported in the past two weeks, with Turkish jandarmerie to have fired at Greek border guards and members of the Frontex.

      Greece’s security forces are on high alert.

      Just a few days ago, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated that Ankara’s policy of “open borders” will continue for anyone wishing to cross into Europe.

      Speaking to nationalist Akit TV on Wednesday, Cavusoglu claimed that Greece used “inhumane” behavior towards the migrants who want to cross into the country.

      Also Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had threatened that the migrants will be allowed to leave Turkey again once the pandemic was over.

      PS It could be a very hot summer, should Turkey attempt to send migrants to Europe by land through Evros and by sea with boats to the Aegean islands and at the same time, deploys a drilling ship off Crete in July, as it claimed a few days ago.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/05/17/greece-shields-evros-border-blades-wire-400-border-guards

      #militarisation_des_frontières

    • Pour la bagatelle de 63 millions d’euro...

      Greece to extend fence on land border with Turkey to deter migrants

      Greece will proceed with plans to extend a cement and barbed-wire fence that it set up in 2012 along its northern border with Turkey to prevent migrants from entering the country, the government said on Monday.

      The conservative government made the decision this year, spokesman Stelios Petsas said, after tens of thousands of asylum seekers tried to enter EU member Greece in late February when Ankara said it would no longer prevent them from doing so.

      Greece, which is at odds with neighbouring Turkey over a range of issues, has been a gateway to Europe for people fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, with more than a million passing through the country in 2015-2016.

      The project led by four Greek construction companies will be completed within eight months at an estimated cost of 63 million euros, Petsas told a news briefing.

      The 12.5-kilometre fence was built eight years ago to stop migrants from crossing into Greece. It will be extended in areas indicated by Greek police and the army, Petsas said without elaborating. In March, he said it would be extended to 40 kilometres.

      Tensions between NATO allies Greece and Turkey, who disagree over where their continental shelves begin and end, have recently escalated further over hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean region.

      https://kdal610.com/2020/08/24/greece-to-extend-fence-on-land-border-with-turkey-to-deter-migrants

    • Greece to extend fence on land border with Turkey to deter migrants

      Greece will proceed with plans to extend a cement and barbed-wire fence that it set up in 2012 along its northern border with Turkey to prevent migrants from entering the country, the government said on Monday.

      The conservative government made the decision this year, spokesman Stelios Petsas said, after tens of thousands of asylum seekers tried to enter EU member Greece in late February when Ankara said it would no longer prevent them from doing so.

      Greece, which is at odds with neighbouring Turkey over a range of issues, has been a gateway to Europe for people fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, with more than a million passing through the country in 2015-2016.

      The project led by four Greek construction companies will be completed within eight months at an estimated cost of 63 million euros, Petsas told a news briefing.

      The 12.5-kilometre fence was built eight years ago to stop migrants from crossing into Greece. It will be extended in areas indicated by Greek police and the army, Petsas said without elaborating. In March, he said it would be extended to 40 kilometres.

      Tensions between NATO allies Greece and Turkey, who disagree over where their continental shelves begin and end, have recently escalated further over hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean region.

      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-greece-turkey-fence/greece-to-extend-fence-on-land-border-with-turkey-to-deter-migrants-idUK

    • Evros land border fence to be ready in eight months

      The construction of a new fence on northeastern Greece’s Evros land border with Turkey will be completed in eight months, according to Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, speaking in Parliament on Monday.

      The border fence project has a total budget of 62.9 million euros and has been undertaken by a consortium put together by four construction companies.

      It will have a total length of 27 kilometers and eight elevated observatories will be constructed to be used by the Hellenic Army.

      Moreover, the existing fence will be reinforced with a steel railing measuring 4.3 meters in height, instead of the current 3.5 meters.

      Damage to the existing fence during attempts by thousands of migrants to cross into Greece territory from Turkey, as well as bad weather, will be repaired – including a 400-meter stretch that collapsed as a result of flooding.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/256184/article/ekathimerini/news/evros-land-border-fence-to-be-ready-in-eight-months

    • New Evros fence to be completed by April next year, PM says during on-site inspection

      Construction of a new fence designed to stop undocumented migrants from slipping into Greece along its northeastern border with Turkey, demarcated by the Evros River, is expected to be completed by April next year, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a visit at the area of Ferres on Saturday.

      “Building the Evros fence was the least we could do to secure the border and make the people of Evros feel more safe,” Mitsotakis said.

      The 62.9-million-euro steel fence with barbed wire will be five meters high and have a total length of 27 kilometers. Eight elevated observatories will be constructed to be used by the Hellenic Army. The project, which is designed to also serve as anti-flood protection, has been undertaken by a consortium put together by four construction companies.

      During a meeting with local officials, Mitsotakis also confirmed the hiring of 400 guards to patrol the border.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/258187/article/ekathimerini/news/new-evros-fence-to-be-completed-by-april-next-year-pm-says-during-on-s

    • To Vima: Evros wall will be ready in April, the Min. of Public
      Order said that ’labourers worked in the snow to finish the fence’.
      It also claims drones fly daily over the border - can anyone confirm? Only found older news saying they were to be deployed.

      https://twitter.com/lk2015r/status/1363625427307278340

      –—

      Εβρος : Ο φράκτης, τα drones και ο χιονιάς

      O καινούργιος φράκτης στα σύνορα με μήκος 27 χιλιόμετρα και με 13 χιλιόμετρα ο παλαιός, θα είναι απόλυτα έτοιμος τον Απρίλιο.

      Ούτε το χιόνι, ούτε οι λευκές νύχτες του Φεβρουαρίου, ούτε οι θερμοκρασίες κάτω από το μηδέν εμπόδισαν τα συνεργεία στις εργασίες τους για την κατασκευή του φράκτη στον Έβρο. Όπως μου είπε ο Μιχάλης Χρυσοχοΐδης « μηχανήματα και εργάτες δούλεψαν μέσα στα χιόνια για να ολοκληρώσουν τον φράκτη ». Μου αποκάλυψε μάλιστα ότι ο καινούργιος φράκτης στα σύνορα με μήκος 27 χιλιόμετρα και με 13 χιλιόμετρα ο παλαιός, θα είναι απόλυτα έτοιμος τον Απρίλιο. Και τούτο παρά το γεγονός ότι αυτές τις ημέρες το μόνον που δυσκολεύει τις εργασίες είναι τα πολλά νερά του ποταμού ο οποίος έχει υπερχειλίσει. Ωστόσο τα drones πετούν καθημερινά και συλλέγουν πληροφορίες, οι περιπολίες είναι συνεχείς και τα ηχοβολιστικά μηχανήματα έτοιμα, εάν χρειαστεί να δράσουν.

      https://www.tovima.gr/2021/02/19/opinions/evros-o-fraktis-ta-drones-kai-o-xionias

    • In post-pandemic Europe, migrants will face digital fortress

      As the world begins to travel again, Europe is sending migrants a loud message: Stay away!

      Greek border police are firing bursts of deafening noise from an armored truck over the frontier into Turkey. Mounted on the vehicle, the long-range acoustic device, or “sound cannon,” is the size of a small TV set but can match the volume of a jet engine.

      It’s part of a vast array of physical and experimental new digital barriers being installed and tested during the quiet months of the coronavirus pandemic at the 200-kilometer (125-mile) Greek border with Turkey to stop people entering the European Union illegally.

      A new steel wall, similar to recent construction on the US-Mexico border, blocks commonly-used crossing points along the Evros River that separates the two countries.

      Nearby observation towers are being fitted with long-range cameras, night vision, and multiple sensors. The data will be sent to control centers to flag suspicious movement using artificial intelligence analysis.

      “We will have a clear ‘pre-border’ picture of what’s happening,” Police Maj. Dimonsthenis Kamargios, head of the region’s border guard authority, told the Associated Press.

      The EU has poured 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) into security tech research following the refugee crisis in 2015-16, when more than 1 million people – many escaping wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – fled to Greece and on to other EU countries.

      The automated surveillance network being built on the Greek-Turkish border is aimed at detecting migrants early and deterring them from crossing, with river and land patrols using searchlights and long-range acoustic devices.

      Key elements of the network will be launched by the end of the year, Kamargios said. “Our task is to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. We need modern equipment and tools to do that.”

      Researchers at universities around Europe, working with private firms, have developed futuristic surveillance and verification technology, and tested more than a dozen projects at Greek borders.

      AI-powered lie detectors and virtual border-guard interview bots have been piloted, as well as efforts to integrate satellite data with footage from drones on land, air, sea and underwater. Palm scanners record the unique vein pattern in a person’s hand to use as a biometric identifier, and the makers of live camera reconstruction technology promise to erase foliage virtually, exposing people hiding near border areas.

      Testing has also been conducted in Hungary, Latvia and elsewhere along the eastern EU perimeter.

      The more aggressive migration strategy has been advanced by European policymakers over the past five years, funding deals with Mediterranean countries outside the bloc to hold migrants back and transforming the EU border protection agency, Frontex, from a coordination mechanism to a full-fledged multinational security force.

      But regional migration deals have left the EU exposed to political pressure from neighbors.

      Earlier this month, several thousand migrants crossed from Morocco into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in a single day, prompting Spain to deploy the army. A similar crisis unfolded on the Greek-Turkish border and lasted three weeks last year.

      Greece is pressing the EU to let Frontex patrol outside its territorial waters to stop migrants reaching Lesbos and other Greek islands, the most common route in Europe for illegal crossing in recent years.

      Armed with new tech tools, European law enforcement authorities are leaning further outside borders.

      Not all the surveillance programs being tested will be included in the new detection system, but human rights groups say the emerging technology will make it even harder for refugees fleeing wars and extreme hardship to find safety.

      Patrick Breyer, a European lawmaker from Germany, has taken an EU research authority to court, demanding that details of the AI-powered lie detection program be made public.

      “What we are seeing at the borders, and in treating foreign nationals generally, is that it’s often a testing field for technologies that are later used on Europeans as well. And that’s why everybody should care, in their own self-interest,” Breyer of the German Pirates Party told the AP.

      He urged authorities to allow broad oversight of border surveillance methods to review ethical concerns and prevent the sale of the technology through private partners to authoritarian regimes outside the EU.

      Ella Jakubowska, of the digital rights group EDRi, argued that EU officials were adopting “techno-solutionism” to sideline moral considerations in dealing with the complex issue of migration.

      “It is deeply troubling that, time and again, EU funds are poured into expensive technologies which are used in ways that criminalize, experiment with and dehumanize people on the move,” she said.

      Migration flows have slowed in many parts of Europe during the pandemic, interrupting an increase recorded over years. In Greece, for example, the number of arrivals dropped from nearly 75,000 in 2019 to 15,700 in 2020, a 78% decrease.

      But the pressure is sure to return. Between 2000 and 2020, the world’s migrant population rose by more than 80% to reach 272 million, according to United Nations data, fast outpacing international population growth.

      At the Greek border village of Poros, the breakfast discussion at a cafe was about the recent crisis on the Spanish-Moroccan border.

      Many of the houses in the area are abandoned and in a gradual state of collapse, and life is adjusting to that reality.

      Cows use the steel wall as a barrier for the wind and rest nearby.

      Panagiotis Kyrgiannis, a Poros resident, says the wall and other preventive measures have brought migrant crossings to a dead stop.

      “We are used to seeing them cross over and come through the village in groups of 80 or a 100,” he said. “We were not afraid. … They don’t want to settle here. All of this that’s happening around us is not about us.”

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1162084/in-post-pandemic-europe-migrants-will-face-digital-fortress

      #pandémie #covid-19 #coronavirus #barrière_digitale #mur_digital #pré-mur #technologie #complexe_militaro-industriel #AI #IA #intelligence_artificielle #détecteurs_de_mensonge #satellite #biométrie #Hongrie #Lettonie #Frontex #surveillance #privatisation #techno-solutionism #déshumanisation

    • Greece: EU Commission upgrades border surveillance – and criticises it at the same time

      The Greek border police are using a sound cannon and drones on a new border fence, and the EU Commission expresses its „concern“ about this. However, it is itself funding several similar research projects, including a semi-autonomous drone with stealth features for „effective surveillance of borders and migration flows“

      On Monday, the Associated Press (AP) news agency had reported (https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-europe-migration-technology-health-c23251bec65ba45205a0851fab07e) that police in Greece plan to deploy a long-range sound cannon at the external border with Turkey in the future. The device, mounted on a police tank, makes a deafening noise with the volume of a jet engine. It is part of a system of steel walls that is being installed and tested along with drones on the 200-kilometre border with Turkey for migration defence. The vehicle, made by the Canadian manufacturer #Streit, comes from a series of seized „#Typhoons“ (https://defencereview.gr/mrap-vehicles-hellenic-police) that were to be illegally exported to Libya via Dubai (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/streit-libya-un-1.3711776).

      After the AP report about the sound cannons went viral, Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz had clarified that it was not an EU project (https://twitter.com/Ad4EU/status/1400010786064437248).

      Yesterday, AP reported again on this (https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-europe-migration-government-and-politics-2cec83ae0d8544a719a885a). According to Jahnz, the Commission has „noted with concern“ the installation of the technology and is requesting information on its use. Methods used in EU member states would have to comply with European fundamental rights, including the „right to dignity“. The right to asylum and the principle of non-refoulement in states where refugees face persecution must also be respected.

      The Commission’s outrage is anything but credible. After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used refugees to storm the Turkish-Greek border in March 2020, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travelled to the border river Evros before the start of a Frontex mission and declared her solidarity there. Literally, the former German Defence Minister said (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_20_380): „I thank Greece for being our European shield“.

      Commission funds research on border surveillance

      Also yesterday, the Commission-funded #ROBORDER project (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/740593/de) said in a statement (https://roborder.eu/2021/06/03/new-collaboration-with-borderuas-project) that it is now cooperating with the #BorderUAS project (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/883272/de). Both are about the use of drones. The police in Greece are involved and the applications are to be tested there.

      The acronym ROBORDER stands for „#Autonomous_Swarm_of_Heterogeneous_Robots_for_Border_Surveillance“. It works with drones on water, on land and in the air. In Greece, for example, a drone is to be used to detect „unauthorised sea border crossing“ (https://roborder.eu/the-project/demonstrators), as well as an aircraft from the #Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with a surveillance test platform, #radar systems and thermal imaging cameras.

      All drones in ROBORDER are supposed to be able to operate in swarms. They are controlled via a mobile control centre from the German company #Elettronica. This „#Multipurpose_Mission_Support_Vehicle“ (#MUROS) is used to collect all recorded data (https://www.elettronica.de/de/produkte/oeffentliche-sicherheit-integration). The project, which will soon come to an end, will cost around nine million euros, of which the EU Commission will pay the largest share.

      High-resolution cameras on lighter-than-air drones

      The acronym BorderUAS means „#Semi-Autonomous_Border_Surveillance_Platform_with_a_High-Resolution_Multi-Sensor_Surveillance_Payload“. Border authorities, police forces as well as companies and institutes mainly from Eastern Europe and Greece want to use it to investigate so-called lighter-than-air drones.

      These can be small zeppelins or balloons that are propelled by alternative propulsion systems and have a multitude of sensors and cameras. The participating company #HiperSfera (https://hipersfera.hr) from Croatia markets such systems for border surveillance, for example.

      The project aims to prevent migration on the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route, the Western Balkan route and across the EU’s eastern external land border. According to the project description, these account for 58 percent of all detected irregular border crossings. BorderUAS ends in 2023, and the technology will be tested by police forces in Greece, Ukraine and Belarus until then. The Commission is funding the entire budget with around seven million euros.

      Civilian and military drone research

      For border surveillance, the EU Defence Agency and the Commission are funding numerous civilian and military drone projects in Greece. These include the €35 million #OCEAN2020 project (https://ocean2020.eu), which conducts research on the integration of drones and unmanned submarines into fleet formations. #ARESIBO, which costs around seven million euros (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/833805/de) and on which the Greek, Portuguese and Romanian Ministries of Defence and the #NATO Research Centre are working on drone technology, will end in 2022. With another five million euros, the Commission is supporting an „#Information_Exchange_for_Command_Control_and_Coordination_Systems_at_the_Borders“ (#ANDROMEDA) (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/833881/de). This also involves drones used by navies, coast guards and the police forces of the member states.

      In #CAMELOT (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/740736/de) are flying various drones from Israel and Portugal, and as in ROBORDER, a single ground station is to be used for this purpose. A scenario „illegal activity, illegal immigration persons“ is being tested with various surveillance equipment at the Evros river. The Commission is contributing eight million euros of the total sum. This year, results from #FOLDOUT (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/214861/factsheet/de) will also be tried out on the Greek-Turkish border river Evros, involving satellites, high-flying platforms and drones with technology for „through-foliage detection“ (https://foldout.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Flyer_v1_Foldout_EN_v2_Print.pdf) in the „outermost regions of the EU„. The Commission is allocating eight million euros for this as well.

      Also with EU funding, predominantly Greek partners, including drone manufacturers #ALTUS and #Intracom_Defense, as well as the Air Force, are developing a drone under the acronym LOTUS with „autonomy functions“ and stealth features for surveillance. The project manager promotes the system as suitable for „effective surveillance of borders and migration flows“ (https://www.intracomdefense.com/ide-leader-in-european-defense-programs).

      https://digit.site36.net/2021/06/04/greece-eu-commission-upgrades-border-surveillance-and-criticises-it-at

      #drones #Canada #complexe_militaro-industriel