Greece says border forces on alert to avoid repeat of 2015 migrant crisis

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Abandoned speedboats, used by refugees and migrants since 2015 to cross part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, are seen at a garbage dump site near the town of Mithymna (also known as Molyvos) on the island of Lesbos, Greece, October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

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ATHENS, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Greece's border forces are on alert to avoid a repeat of the mass arrivals of migrants that the country experienced in 2015, the government's spokesman said on Thursday, following the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan.

Greece was on the frontline of Europe's migration crisis in 2015, when nearly one million people fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan landed on its islands.

Like other European Union member states, Greece is nervous that developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of that crisis and has sought a common EU stance on the issue. read more

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"All forces are on alert at the borders, we will not allow a reliving of the scenes of 2015," government spokesman Yannis Economou told a news conference.

Greece's foreign ministry is coordinating actions to bring back eight Afghan nationals who worked with its forces there, it added.

"We will not stop until we bring them back to our country," Economou said.

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Reporting by George Georgiopoulos Editing by Ingrid Melander and Gareth Jones

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