Greek army and police units trying to stop crowds of illegal migrants from pushing their way in from Turkey, have hit on a new defence against tear gas unleashed on them from the Turkish side of the frontier — monster fans.
The jeep-mounted turbines which were deployed on Thursday near the Kastanies crossing in the northeastern Evros border, blow fire smoke and tear gas clouds back into Turkish territory.
Since late last month, the border has seen daily clashes between illegal migrants and Greek forces after Turkey announced it would no longer prevent migrants from reaching the European Union. The majority not even from war torn Syria.
According to reports, Greece has prevented more than 42,000 illegal entries into Greek and EU territory over the past two weeks.
Turkish authorities have also helped the attempted violent crossings. Last week Turkey dispatched 1,000 heavily armed special police to the frontier and has faced charges of ordering volleys of tear gas to be fired at Greek border units.
Greek military officials said the turbines used to disperse the gas, are normally employed in parachute training.
Greek authorities also reported that out of the 252 people arrested for illegal entry over the past week as of Friday, 64% were Pakistanis, 19% Afghans, 5% Turks and 4% Syrians, while the others were from Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Egypt.
Earlier, Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis stated that Europe “is here, united and determined to guard its borders from the invasion of despairing people.”
His comments were made during his visit at the Greek Evros border.
The Minister also criticised the neighbouring country for “using despairing people without any conscience, like political pawns.”