The Greek Armed Forces have begun setting up barbed-wire obstacles and battle positions, repairing lookout posts and installing lighting along the country’s border with Turkey in Evros.
The works are taking place at the same time as the construction of a 26 km-long fence.
Officials say the works are designed to help Greek police and Frontex when conducting patrols, surveillance and to safely prevent illegal entry into Greece.
In addition, Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chrisochoidis announced the hiring of an additional 800 border guards in northern Greece on Wednesday.
“I announce to you that we are proceeding with the hiring of another 800 border guards in northern Greece, 600 of whom will be located in Evros, 100 in Rodopi and 100 in Kavala, in order to form a second line of defence, so that it is certain that Greece is protecting its borders, the areas in northern Greece that are sensitive, that it protects them and that no can illegally enter the country but only those entitled to seek asylum,” he said.
The new hires will be trained and posted in the spring of 2021.
Last weekend, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis overviewed the construction of the new Evros border fence. “The construction of the new fence on the Greek-Turkish border in Evros was the least the government could do to make Greek citizens feel safe who are keeping the country’s morale high at such a difficult moment,” he said.
In March this year, Turkey attempted to asymmetrically invade Greece with the use of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Turkey had not only falsely told the illegal immigrants that Greece’s borders were open, but it also facilitated the transportation of the illegal immigrants and utilized their army to try and tear down Greece’s border wall. This damage is currently being repaired.
From February 28 to August 3 this year, over 60,000 illegal immigrants were prevented from entering Greece from the Evros area on the Greek-Turkish border region.
According to SKAI, many of the illegal immigrants arrested by authorities were seeking political asylum in Greece, claiming they were government officials in Turkey and opponents of the Erdoğan government.
The border fence project has a total budget of €62.9 million. It will have a total length of 27 kilometres and eight elevated observatories will be constructed to be used by the Hellenic Army. Moreover, the existing fence will be reinforced with a steel railing measuring 4.3 meters in height, instead of the current 3.5 meters.
The Greek PM noted that the work is advancing rapidly, adding that the project will be completed in April 2021 as planned.