Tuesday, July 16 2024

Kyriakos Mitsotakis to chair border security meeting

Kyriakos Mitsotakis to chair border security meeting

Border security in Evros will be the focus of a meeting of the Governmental Council for National Security (KYSEA) on Tuesday, chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The meeting will take place as pressure escalates on Greece’s northeastern land border with Turkey.

The government reiterated last week, via Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis, its intention to extend the fence in the Evros region bordering Turkey by 80 kilometers. The minister stressed Greece would not become “an open field,” while insisting that Turkey is not a country at war and therefore migrants arriving from the neighboring country can be returned there.

Speaking to Skai radio, Mitarakis stressed that “humanitarianism is very important, but the people who want to come to the European Union because of the inequalities in the world are in the hundreds of millions.” “We are not talking about a closed Europe but we are also not talking about a Europe in which smugglers decide who comes,” he noted.

Minister for Citizens’ Protection Takis Theodorikakos told Skai on Saturday that in recent weeks there has been an escalation in the movements of undocumented migrants. “We have arrested 60 traffickers of foreign nationals in recent days who had set up schemes to bring these people into our country,” he added.

He said the traffickers try to lead people to islets, especially in summer, when the Evros River water level is low.

For his part, a former chief of the General Staff and ex-commander of the 4th Army Corps of Evros, Georgios Kampas, told Skai that Greece is facing a “hybrid threat” from Turkey. He said that Turkish military police was behind the migrant flows to Evros. “They have tried to create a provocation in an effort to show us up as behaving badly towards migrants, which is not true,” Kampas stressed.