Greece uses giant ventilators to disperse Turkish tear gas at border

Greek border guards are using powerful fans to disperse tear gas fired from the Turkish side of the border, the Associated Press said on Thursday.

The so-called monster fans - which are jeep-mounted turbines normally employed in parachute training - were deployed on Thursday near the Kastanies crossing in the northeastern Evros border region, said AP.

Greece has accused the Turkish authorities of helping attempted migrant crossings by firing rounds of tear gas towards Greek border units since Turkey’s decision to open their side of the border to migrants and refugees in late February. 

Greece has also repeatedly used tear gas to prevent migrants from crossing the border.

Since the crisis erupted on Feb. 29, Athens says more than 45,000 attempted entries to Greece have been prevented, including more than 500 on Thursday, when migrants threw petrol bombs at Greek border authorities. 

During a visit to Athens on Thursday, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said up to 5,000 migrants living in squalid, overcrowded camps on the Greek islands would be offered 2,000 euros  “of financial and technical support for their departure and towards reintegration in their home countries.”

Seven EU countries have also pledged to take in more than 1,600 unaccompanied minors trapped in Greece, said Johansson.