The border in Evros is European and will be protected, stated European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas.
“We have the largest Frontex land operation in Europe here, at this border. It is a European border that is guarded and also a border that symbolises European values because we can protect our borders while at the same time respecting human rights and freedoms and European values,” Schinas said during his visit to the border station at Kipi last Friday.
It was the EU executive’s third visit to Evros.
An honour and a privilege to witness today first hand the commitment and profesionalism of the guardians of Europe’s external border. pic.twitter.com/xistZLi3eL
— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) June 4, 2021
Schinas crossed the Evros River bridge up to the border line and greeted both the Greek and Turkish guard there.
He also met with Frontex members and later participated in a patrol along the Evros borders.
Today #Frontex officers welcomed @MargSchinas at their place of work – EU’s external borders in the Evros region. Today, there are 2000 standing corps officers at the borders, with the largest number in Greece. We appreciate your support, Mr Vice-President #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/kXSDdOBqfK
— Frontex (@Frontex) June 4, 2021
In addition to the new border fence in Evros, powerful sound cannons have been set up in Alexandroupolis, alongside the Maritsa river, to stop migrants entering the EU illegally.
According to the Associated Press, the long-range acoustic devices, fitted to armoured trucks, are capable of unleashing a blast as loud as a jet engine over the Turkish border.
They emit powerful sound waves which may cause pain and shock to the human body.
Police Maj. Dimonsthenis Kamargios, head of the region’s border guard authority, said: “Our task is to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. We need modern equipment and tools to do that.”
Observation towers are also being fitted with long-range cameras, night vision, and multiple sensors.
Illegal migration flows into Greece significantly decreased from 2019 to 2020.
“From 72,000 in 2019, they decreased to about 15,000 in 2020 and have been reduced to just 2,500 in the first four months of 2021,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said last month.
Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi also revealed that the aim of reducing illegal migrant flows into Greece is to end the country being a “gateway for smuggling networks.”