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ian bremmer ‏@ianbremmer 4h4 hours ago

If good fences make good neighbors, the world is getting much more neighborly.

The New Iron Curtains: Where the fences are going up across Europe to keep migrants out

EUROPE is fortifying its borders with barbed wire fences in response to the migration crisis engulfing the continent.

PUBLISHED: 13:23, Sun, Dec 6, 2015

UPDATED: 15:43, Sun, Dec 6, 2015

A quarter of a century after the iron curtain fell Europe is building walls again

Barely a week goes by without another European nation erecting a partition, signalling what many believe is the end of the Schengen zone and the dream of free movement.

One week ago Macedonia joined the long list of countries that have buckled under the strain and installed a barrier to halt the huge wave of migrants fleeing war, poverty and persecution.

Here we detail the border fences shooting up across Europe…

Macedonia soldiers guard their border with Greece

November 2015

Macedonia is the latest country to erect a border fence.

The tiny, landlocked state has begun building a fence along its border with Greece, blocking a key transit route for migrants travelling from Turkey to northern and western Europe. 

Macedonia insists it will allow those fleeing war-zones to continue to pass through, meaning people fleeing from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq can continue to cross.

But many others, including Iranians, Moroccans, Pakistanis and Eritreans will have their journey’s halted.

Earlier in the month, Slovenia began building a razor-wire fence along its frontier with Croatia to stem the estimated 30,000 migrants that were arriving at its borders every day.

Prime Minister Miro Cerar said the "technical barrier" would be used to direct the flow of refugees rather than permanently close the 400-mile border.

Also in November, Austria announced it was to erect a metal fence along its border with Slovenia. 

A 2.3-mile barriers was built - the first fence between two Schengen-area countries where movement is supposed to be unrestricted.

Austrian officials warned that extra barbed wire would be stored nearby and the fence extended if the situation did not improve.

Borders all over Europe are being fortified

October 2015

In mid-October, a section of Hungary’s border with Croatia was blocked.

Hungarian soldiers sealed the frontier at midnight on October 17 near the village of Zakany.

Officials hailed the border closure as a dramatic success, reducing the number of new arrivals from the thousands to the tens in the days following. 

But the move had a knock on effect throughout the Balkans, as Hungary was a major crossing point, with the burden simply passed to its neighbours. 

This graphic shows the extent of the fence building in Europe

September 2015

Three weeks earlier, Slovakia announced the closure of its border with Hungary using the same technique that the United States had employed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The country’s interior minister said wire mesh containers and heavy duty fabric liner would be filled with sand, soil or gravel and extended along part of its southern frontier. 

At the same time, Hungary began preparations to extend its border fences towards Romania.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the time: “We have made the decision to start preparatory works for the construction of a fence starting from the Hungarian-Serbian-Romanian border at a reasonable length should migration pressure shift in the direction of Romania.”

And amid ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia over the annexation of Crimea, both countries announced at the beginning of September that they would install separate fences along their shared border.

August 2015

Estonia vowed to build a border with Russia in August to boost security and protect the Schengen zone.

The plans followed in the wake of heightened tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Building work on the 70-mile-long, eight-foot-high wall is set to start in 2018.

Elsewhere in eastern Europe, Bulgaria finished sealing its southern border with Turkey.

The 15ft high, five foot wide fence, finished in early August, was the final part of a construction project that began in November 2013.

Migrant crisis explained in numbers

Thu, November 26, 2015

A monthly record of 218,394 migrants and refugees reached Europe by sea in October, the UN says, almost as many as the total number of arrivals in 2014. We take a look at the shocking statistics facing the humanitarian crisis.

5,000 migrants are reaching Europe every day over the so-called Balkan migrant corridor of Greece, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia [AP]

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