Europe’s Frontex sends more guards to protect Greek border
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European border protection agency, Frontex, says it has deployed another 100 border guards to Greece to help protect the European Union’s frontier there from pressure of migrants.
Warsaw-based Frontex said Friday the deployment of guards from 22 member states is part of a rapid border intervention requested by Athens. The assistance will also include vessels, maritime surveillance aircraft and Thermal-Vision Vehicles, for the Frontex maritime Rapid Border Intervention task, Aegean 2020.
Frontex already has more than 500 officers in Greece, as well as 11 vessels and other equipment.
“The presence of 100 officers from all around Europe underlines the fact that the protection of the European area of freedom, security and justice is a shared responsibility of all Member States and Frontex,” Frontex quoted its executive director, Fabrice Leggeri, as saying during the launch of the operation in the Greek town of Orestiada.
Greece has been trying to stop a massive wave of migrants pushing in from Turkey, in a crisis that erupted last month.
Athens says more than 45,000 attempted entries have been thwarted, including more than 500 on Thursday — when for a second day migrants threw Molotov cocktails at Greek border troops and police. Greek units were also attacked with tear gas and responded in kind.
Earlier in the week, two Frontex border surveillance planes were deployed to Greece.
The agency said the rapid border interventions are planned for two months but can be extended if needed.