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A Texas-Style Wall for Greece?

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Maybe there's some common ground between fancy-pants Europeans and the Lone Star State. A proposed barrier in the style of the controversial US/Mexico border wall, only this one between Greece and Turkey, is raising concern.

On the one hand, say critics of the idea, it's an ugly, short-term way to deal with illegal immigration into Europe. On the other hand, say swamped Greek authorities, illegal traffic across the Greek/Turkish border, already the most active flow zone of desperate  migrants from Asia and Africa, was up a whopping 369% in 2010, according to EU border agency Frontex. Along a particularly porous stretch of the border somewhere between 200 and 450 people cross every single night.

Athens first floated the idea at the beginning of January, initially discussing a Texas-style wall along the entire length of its shared  border with Turkey. After predictable outrage from EU officials concerned about their international reputation and many high-minded media outlets denouncing images of “Fortress Europe,” the Greeks reduced the scope of their plan. Instead of completely walling off its historical rival, fellow NATO member and possible future EU partner, perhaps just erecting a 12 kilometer-long, three meter-high fence along the most troublesome section would do the trick?

As Der Spiegel points out, quoting Germany’s center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung paper, the Greek plan is less a solution that an “act of despair.” Nobody really thinks a ten-foot-high fence is going to stop the ongoing crush of economic refugees into Europe. But maybe the desperate move is the right move in this situation.

Greece, suffering from an ongoing financial meltdown that nearly took down the Eurozone last year (and still might if the country, as predicted by some, defaults on its multi-trillion euro bail-out loan in a year or so), simply can’t handle the strain or police the  consequences of this ongoing migrant invasion.

Though other EU countries have their own well-hidden, misery-filled refugee camps -- such as France’s infamous “Calais jungle” -- they are mostly, smugly, removed from the immediate frontlines. Perhaps this doomed-to-failure wall is -- as well as a bit of domestic politicking for the beleaguered Greek government -- an attempt to force the rest of the continent into dealing with the gravity of the issue more than any earnest adoption of the equally doomed build-a-big-ass-wall policies of American border states.
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