Frontex, the Border and Coast Guard Agency of the European Union, has been deployed in full since Friday morning in the Greek region of Evros, next to the Greek-Turkish border, which is also the Union’s external border.
Hundreds of police officers from across the EU are now in full operation guarding the Greek frontier, in a loud and clear manifestation of active European solidarity.
Men and women from Poland, Austria, Germany, Estonia, and many other EU member states, along with huge amounts of special equipment and vehicles, have been deployed across the land border with Turkey, sending a clear message to the opposite side that Europe is united against Ankara’s blackmail and aggression.
One of the new vehicles patrolling the border is one of Austria’s armored police vehicles, which has attracted the attention of Turkish soldiers lately, who walked up to the border fence to see the new European additions on the Greek side.
— Andreas Mountzouroulias (@andreasmoun) March 12, 2020
“We stand here … to provide more officers and more equipment to help protect the borders, which are also our common EU external borders. The presence … underlines the fact that the protection of the area of the European area of freedom, security and justice is a shared responsibility of all Member States and Frontex,” Frontex’s Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said during the launch of the operation in the Greek town of Orestiada.
Meanwhile, the Greek Army has deployed special vehicles equipped with massive turbines, which create strong currents of wind in order to stop the spread of teargas thrown from the Turkish to the European side.
Intermittent Clashes Continue
Τhe Turkish side continued to provoke violent incidents by using chemicals, lobbing firebombs and starting fires at several points along the border fence around the Kastanies border post during the night, Greek authorities reported on Friday.
The incidents started late on Thursday evening, interspersed with intervals of calm that, according to the Greek side, can last from a few hours up to a few days.
The damaged fence is being repaired and strengthened on a daily basis by the appropriate army units, in order to maintain its deterrent capacity, while there are also plans for its extension.