Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis visited the Greek-Turkish border area of Evros on Monday morning, along with Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, where they stressed that despite the departure of thousands of illegal immigrants, the “state of emergency” is not over.
The visit comes a few days after Turkish authorities set fire to the tents housing the illegal immigrants on their side of the border and forced them onto buses which transported them to readmission centres.
“We are back at the Kastanies border post in order to assess the situation,” Panagiotopoulos stated after being briefed by the chief of the National Defence General Staff, Konstantinos Floros.
“We also had the opportunity to talk with the leaderships of the armed forces and the Hellenic Police on the local level, with the people who carried out their mission of guarding the border, of managing to maintain their impregnability from the surprise push of Clean Monday, and, of course, to plan our next moves,” he continued.
“The state of emergency has not ended,” Panagiotopoulos stated and armed forces will “remain vigilant.”
The visit Chrysochoidis said was intended to show that the armed forces, the police, European border agency Frontex and the security forces of other European member-states sent in to help their Greek counterparts, were determined to continue safeguarding the borders of Greece and Europe.
“We are at the beating heart of European solidarity,” he said, hailing the support of EU member-states to the Greek effort.
He also announced that an existing fence at the border would be extended to cover more areas that are vulnerable.