Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Wednesday stressed that Greece intends to proceed with plans to extend its fence at the Greek-Turkish border in Evros to prevent a mass influx of undocumented migrants trying to reach the European Union.
“The fence will be built in defense of our country’s interests,” the minister said during the visit to the northeastern border.
Chrysochoidis assured that his visit is not meant to signal an alarming development in the area – which became the scene of a standoff in early March when hundreds of migrants and refugees spurred by Ankara tried to push into Greece.
“There is no emergency, there is nothing to worry about,” the minister said, adding that his visit is part of operations to reinforce guards at the border following a hiatus related to the coronavirus pandemic over the past couple of months.
“We are returning the police officers who were here before the hiatus. They will later be replaced by 400 border guards that were hired months ago but could not be trained because of the pandemic. Around late September, when these border guards are trained and ready to take over, the police officers serving here will go back home and to their regular services,” Chrysochoidis said, also noting the support of the European Union’s Frontex border agency in the area.
“The border is safe and will remain safe,” the minister said.