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Greece digs 120-km 'defensive' trench at border with Turkey

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Greece has been in the process of digging a 120-kilometer water-filled trench along its northeastern border with Turkey intended to avert a possible ground attack from Turkey and stop the flow of illegal immigrants, Greece's Vima daily said on Thursday.

Greece has been in the process of digging a 120-kilometer water-filled trench along its northeastern border with Turkey intended to avert a possible ground attack from Turkey and stop the flow of illegal immigrants, Greece's Vima daily said on Thursday.

The moat being dug along the Evros River will be thirty meters wide and seven meters deep, the newspaper said. Some 14.5 kilometers of the ditch has already been dug, it said.

"In the era of an economic and moral decline in Greece, the huge defense project of the highest strategic importance... will serve as a positive example of how the state sector can work quite differently, be exclusively productive and competitive and without sponging on the economy," the report said, without elaborating on the cost of the project.

"But the main thing is that the project will radically change the unbeneficial geographic situation on that important section of Greek territorial defense," the paper said.

Athens has long accused Turkey of failing to stop tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from crossing into Greece every year and ignoring an agreement to accept their return.

Greek authorities have also announced plans to construct a 12.5-kilometer fence along a section of the northeastern border with Turkey, sparking criticism from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and other human rights organizations.

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