Greece to increase guards on borders with Turkey

Greece to recruit 100 border guards to shield Kavala from "illegal migration and crime"

Greece's police minister on Sunday said 250 additional guards would be stationed on the country's land border with Turkey, where thousands of asylum-seekers attempted to enter last year.

'We are ready and we are further increasing (security) forces by hiring 250 new border guards to support Greek police,' Citizens' Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said during a visit to the border area of Kastanies, according to a ministry statement.

In February 2020, tens of thousands of migrants surged towards Greece after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would let migrants seeking to enter the European Union pass through after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers and wounding of 32.

Days of clashes with asylum seekers on the border ensued, with Greek police blaming their Turkish counterparts for firing tear gas against them.

As a result of the incident, Greece invested in a new anti-migration arsenal including cameras, radar and a 40-kilometre (25-mile) steel fence over five metres (16 feet) high, to cover part of the 200-kilometre border region divided by the river Evros.

The Greek civil aviation authority on Saturday also said a secured balloon known as an aerostat, equipped with a long-range thermal camera, had been deployed at Alexandroupolis airport in August to assist in the perimeter surveillance.

A Zeppelin commanded by EU border agency Frontex is also active in the area, state agency ANA said Sunday.