Greek and Bulgarian police are carrying out joint patrols in tourist regions in the prefectures of Thessaloniki and Kavala as of Sunday, extending to Greek territory the corresponding action that began last January in the Bulgarian tourist resort of Bansko.
In the framework of this new initiative, ELAS chief lieutenant general Lefteris Economou and the Bulgarian secretary general of the Interior ministry and police chief of the neighbouring country, Kalin Georgiev, signed in Thessaloniki the relevant document and the creation of joint patrols.
As is anticipated by the cooperation, the joint patrols will include six Bulgarian policemen knowing the Greek language, who will
be carrying out patrols until August 21 on the beaches of Nea Peramos and Kavala, as well as Asprovalta and Stavros in Thessaloniki. The choice of the specific regions took place after
a proposal by the Greek authorities, since they gather a considerable number of Bulgarian tourists.
"The Bulgarian police who will be in our country, will not carry weapons, they will not have operational and executive responsibility," Economou clarified, stressing that the specific action is being implemented in the framework of a wider agreement, that has been signed by the relevant ministers of the EU member-states.
In addition, he praised the cooperation of Greek security authorities with the corresponding Bulgarian ones, stressing that it constitutes a model for the wider cooperation of all the countries of the region of the Balkans. "United in our struggle against organised crime and terrorism, we are becoming much more powerful," the ELAS chief said.
Statements by the Bulgarian secretary general of the Interior ministry were made in the same spirit. He said that "only united are we strong" and added "when there are no borders for crime, they do not exist for joint actions as well."