Correspondent in Athens
Updated:18/10/2020 01: 05h
This morning, the Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis has visited the border between Greece Y Turkey to see closely the construction of the new border fence between both countries. It has done so at the height of the town of Feres, where the construction of the fence has begun this week to prevent the incidents that occurred from February 28 of this year from being repeated. Thousands of immigrants tried unsuccessfully to enter the country near the Kastaniés border post for many weeks, the vast majority from Asian or African countries, following a rumor that they had opened the European borders.
Mitsotakis declared that the construction of the new fence on the Greek-Turkish border “is the least that the government can do to make Greek citizens feel safe”, referring especially to the local population. And he made it clear that he will attend the inauguration of the new fence next April. He also recalled that the existing fence so far “did not hold alone, but held because the police, the Army, the border guards and the inhabitants of the area were present.”
5 meters high and 26 kilometers long
The fence will have a total of 26 kilometers, with 8 elevated observation towers, and will be used by the army. Its construction will finish in April 2021, and includes the construction and placement of an imposing steel fence finished by a barbed wire of 5 meters high in total. Works will also be carried out to improve the 57 existing infrastructures (such as outposts and observatories). In addition, the soil will be reinforced to prevent earth movements in case of floods and new roads for surveillance will be created, as well as artificial barriers along the Evro river, the river frontier for a few kilometers. The budget exceeds 62 million euros. The existing 10-kilometer fence will be repaired and reinforced, from 3.5 meters to 4.3 meters in height.
Likewise, electrical installations and surveillance with drones will be improved, sound cannons will be used and the North American Guardian tanks (M1117) are expected to be delivered. EE.UU. to Greece in the framework of the signing of its military cooperation agreement.
The local population is very satisfied with these works, since, in addition to preventing the entry of illegal immigrants, it represents a protection against frequent floods (it is an area with a lot of rain), which will favor all agricultural production in the area.
More border guards
The representative of the border guards, Panagiotis Jarelas, thanked Mitsotakis for the appointment of 400 new guards (with permanent contracts) who have immediately assumed their functions in this border area, as well as another 800 in the Aegean islands closest to Turkey and another 480 in the rest of the country . These appointments will allow police forces to deploy more troops in Greek cities and towns.
The Greek authorities emphasize that, between February 28 and August 3 of this year, more than 60,000 immigrants who tried to cross the border to continue traveling to the rest of Europe were prevented from doing so. And among those who were arrested, there were not only foreigners from Asian and African countries, but also Turks seeking asylum, claiming to be officials opposed to the government of President Erdogan.