The construction of the border protection fence in Evros started at a fast pace, with priority on the land area in Kastanies, while the interest is focused on the riverside southern part of Feres, which will be 27 km long. A meeting of Greek police (ELAS) technicians and officers was held today at the town hall of Feres to resolve procedural issues. The meeting was to be attended by the Minister of Citizen Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis, but the events in Mytilene and Samos did not allow it.
The meeting was held with the participation of an advisor to the Minister, the representative of the civil protection of the Region of Eastern Macedonia - Thrace Chr. Papapostolou, the general regional director of the Police Paschalis Syritoudis, the police director of Alexandroupolis Lambros Tsiaras, as well as farmers, cattle breeders, and residents who maintain fields next to the riparian areas through which the fence passes, or the new embankments it will pass through.
The character of the project as emphasized will be defensive. The fence will consist of a strong metal railing (steel) six meters inside the ground and five meters above, while at the top end, at a height of 1.25 meters, smooth sheet metal with anti-climbing function will be placed that will have protrusions for placing barbed concertina wire, while entrance and exit doors will be placed at 500 meters intervals for its maintenance.
"We are in the execution phase of the project in Petalos, the Tsirozis estate, in southern Egnatia - said the technicians - who assured that by the end of the month the cadastre registration of the area will have been completed, while with the 7A process the expropriation will proceed, the assessment of the real estate service and by the end of October the unit price will be determined, in order to compensate the farmers, not only for the one or two meters used but also for any future such. Our intention is to compensate you with the best possible price", said the minister's advisor, pointing out that the Region of Eastern Macedonia - Thrace "will aid in the whole effort".
The cost of the fence at 63 million
The farmers and stockbreeders of the area of Poros and Feres, raised procedural issues, such avoiding flooding of the fields and state of the existing drainage networks. They took the assurance that this information in the area of the Apiary was taken into account, so that not only these projects are not canceled, but if necessary they can be improved.
Mr. Chrysochoidis will also give these assurances in his contact with the residents, as he is expected for an autopsy of the area in the coming days. It is worth noting that the fence project has a total budget of 62.9 million euros. It was undertaken by a consortium formed by four of the five construction companies invited to participate in the open bidding process.
It concerns the maintenance of the fence that was erected in 2012, which 12.5 km long that extends from Border Station 1 in Kastanies, to Nea Vyssa, and which will be reinforced in height. Damage suffered during the March incidents, as well as bad weather and floods, will be repaired.
Eight bullet-proof observation posts
The emphasis, however, is given to the fence in the wider area of Feres, which will be constructed by the river bank (27 km) and the relevant map was shown to the interested farmers so they could locate their properties. The first nine kilometers will be built in the Petalo area of Feres, the next 15 will cover the area of the Tsirozis Estate, while another 2.5 kilometers will cover the area of Nea Egnatia.
As seen on the map, there are, areas along the entire length of the Greek-Turkish border that are difficult to observe, since the river-border of the Evros, does not always function as a natural border, as some Turkish territory enters west of the river. The projects also include eight bullet-proof observation posts, which will be used by the army, embankments and dirt roads that will facilitate access and maintenance of all existing outpost infrastructure.
As the general police director of the region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Brigadier General Syritoudis, pointed out: in order to reach these conclusions many meetings took place between all those involved, the regional government, the army, police, local authorities, and local society, so that they could be taken into account by the Army's Geographical Service that studied the peculiarities of the region, but also to achieve the goal of preventing refugee and migrant flows. The February crisis led us to make immediate and radical decisions."
"We must stay at the border"
However, the president of the Cooperative, Nikos Tsirozis, pointed out that while there are proposals for the development of the riverside areas, as well as his own estate of 60 hectares that could be a source of wealth for the residents, they remain forgotten in the drawers of those in charge.
"We ask for the utilization of 4200 hectares that could produce up to 10,000 kilos of rice per acre. Finally, the other ministries and that the Ministry of Rural Development should understand what Evros means and what soul the natives of Evros have. Give the message to the center, we must stay at the border. "Here we are holding the shield of war, without wages."
What has emerged as a conclusion and is a mandate from above, is to do everything as near perfect as possible, so that there is constant vigilance, against the instrumentalization of immigration attempted by Turkish President Erdogan so that he will again be surprised, as he was by the readiness shown in March, and so that on the Greek side there will be no room for complacency or negligence.
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