The Greek government is ready to proceed with the gradual expansion of the fence barrier along the entire length of the Evros border with Turkey, Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said in an interview with private network Skai TV on Saturday.
Greece has already built a forty-kilometer (25 mile) fence near the Evros River crossing at the border with Turkey to prevent illegal migrants from entering the country, and a decision to extend the fence along the entire border with Turkey was reached last August.
According to Theodorikakos, a study on the first immediate extension of the fence by a further thirty-five kilometers has been completed by the Citizen Protection Ministry and the Ministry of Defense and is currently pending approval by the Ministry of Finance.
The 35-kilometer extension of the Evros fence is estimated to cost the state budget a hundred million euros.
Once the formal approval has been granted by the Ministry of Finance, the project will move forward “through a quick and immediate tender.”
The Minister told the interview that over 250,000 illegal migrants were prevented from entering Greece through the Evros border in 2022, as per official data.
Last May, Athens was reported to have been looking for EU funds to finance an eighty-kilometer extension of the fence across Evros River, leading to a debate about whether the EU should finance border fences and walls for its member states.
In August, Greek officials agreed to gradually expand the fence barrier and assigned related ministries and the National Defense General Staff to prioritize which sections of the fence should be built first through a bidding process.