Border Tensions Rise as Refugees and Migrants Try to Enter Greece



Refugees and migrants in Evros. Photo Credit: George Sinapidis / Greek Reporter

Thousands of refugees and migrants continue to gather at Greece’s border with Turkey in Evros, following Ankara’s decision to stop preventing migrants from marching towards the EU.

Refugees and migrants in Evros. Photo Credit: George Sinapidis / Greek Reporter

On Saturday morning, tensions rose as groups of refugees and migrants tried to illegally cross the border and enter Greek territory.

Refugees and migrants in Evros. Photo Credit: George Sinapidis / Greek Reporter

Greece continues to strengthen its police and military presence in the area since its Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared that Athens will not tolerate any illegal entry to the country.

The Turkish side does not even attempt to stop the refugees and migrants anymore, who are heading towards Evros from every part of the country since the rumour that ”the borders are open” has spread everywhere.

The situation is chaotic, as there are reports on social media suggesting that the Turkish side pushes the migrants toward the Greek side, while the Greek police respond with tear gas to push them back.

Greek border guards, along with members of FRONTEX, which is the European Union’s external border agency, have been trying to locate all those who attempt to enter Greece’s and therefore EU’s territory.

Most of the refugees and migrants are now stuck in the area between Greece and Turkey, at the Turkish side of the Evros river, waiting to find the opportunity to cross.

Meeting in Athens

The migration crisis was the subject of a broad interministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Maximos Mansion on Saturday morning.

The meeting is attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, Citizen Protection Minister Michael Chrisochoides and Deputy Minister Lefteris Oikonomou, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Deputy Minister Alcibiades Stefanis, the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) General Konstantinos Floros, and representatives of the Greek Coast Guard.

The situation in the Aegean Sea

A total of 300 immigrants and refugees crossed the Eastern Aegean Sea and landed on Greece’s islands in the last 24 hours.

Dinghies trying to reach Greece’s shores have been spotted on the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios and Megisti on Castellorizo.

Greek authorities are increasing the Coast Guard’s and FRONTEX’s presence across the sea border with Turkey.