The unprecedented security and police presence on the streets of the city will be especially heightened in connection with the opening of the 86th Thessaloniki International Exhibition (TIF), which will open on Saturday, September 10 and will be attended by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Operational plan of the Hellenic Police (ΕΛ.ΑΣ.) was approved at several successive meetings that took place the previous day. All available law enforcement forces of Thessaloniki will be involved in the implementation of order, security measures and traffic.
At the same time, platoons are expected to be transferred from neighboring prefectures, as well as from the security services of Attica. As it became known, the number of police officers who will take part in the events will be about 3,500 people. Helicopters, drones and other equipment will be involved in ensuring order.
According to the plan, the units ΜΑΤ, ΥΜΕΤ, ΟΠΚΕ and Δράσης will be deployed on the central streets of Thessaloniki, and the helicopter ΕΛ.ΑΣ. and drones will monitor the situation and provide an image to the operations center.
As in previous years, police buses and fences are expected to be deployed around the convention center (υνεδριακό Κέντρο Ι. Βελλίδης) to prevent the possible movement of protesters to the International Exhibition Center. Ayantas police water cannons also plan to be on standby.
Already today, increased police patrols have begun in the central regions of Thessaloniki, and traffic and municipal police officers are clearing the streets of illegally parked cars, mainly around ΔΕΘ, in connection with the implementation of measures to ban and park vehicles.
Mass participation in Saturday’s protests is expected from unions, collectives, organizations and political movements. So far, the following meetings have been officially announced (they are scheduled for the afternoon and will be accompanied by processions): at 18:00 ΓΣΕΕ και ΑΔΕΔΥ, and which call for a meeting at the statue of Venizelos, while members of PAME will hold a rally in ΧΑΝΘ square.
Camara (also at 6pm) will bring together people close to the extra-parliamentary left and the broader anti-authoritarian community. An hour earlier, a meeting of anti-vaccination activists is scheduled at the White Tower (πλατεία του Λευκού Πύργου). In addition, at 19:00 at the monument to M. Alexander, a meeting of the National Party “Hellenes” (Εθνικό Κόμμα “Έλληνες”) is planned. Preliminary gatherings will be held from 17:00 in different parts of the city, including student associations on campus.
Tomorrow at 8.30, the staff of the Ippokratio State Hospital will begin to gather.
Measures for the movement of vehicles during TIF
Meanwhile, from today (until Sunday), the traffic rules announced by the Thessaloniki Traffic Authority come into force in connection with the opening of the 86th TIF (ΔΕΘ) and the two-day conference “2nd Thessaloniki Capital Summit” (“The 2nd Thessaloniki Metropolitan Summit”), starting with a ban on stopping and parking vehicles on Stratou Avenue and 3 September Street (the same ban is already in place on Tsimiski, Egnatia and Agia Sophia Streets, as well as on Nikis and M. Alexandrou Avenues).
The ban on stopping and parking will be extended from tomorrow morning on Angelaki streets and some parts of Etn streets. Aminis, Agios Dimitriou, G. Lambrakis, Armenopoulou, N. Herman, M. Andronicus and Jasonides.
In addition, from 15:00 on Saturday (depending on the development of mobilization and before its completion), a universal ban on movement in the center of Thessaloniki and, in particular, on the next streets: (από Μ. Αλεξάνδρου μέχρι Αγίου Δημητρίου), Βασ. Όλγας (από Μ. Μπότσαρη μέχρι Αγίας Τριάδος), Βασ. Γεωργίου (από Αγίας Τριάδος μέχρι Μ. Ανδρόνικου), Λεωφόρος Νίκης, ΚουντουριϚη. Καραμανλή (από Κατσιμίδη μέχρι Γ’ Σεπτεμβρίου), Εγνατία (από Λαγκαδά μέχρι 3ης Σεπτεμβρίου), . Αμύνης (από Αγίου Δημητρίου μέχρι Πλατεία Λευκού Πύργου), Τσιμισκή, Αγίου Δημητρίου (από Λαγκαδά μέχρι Στεφάνου Δραγούμη), Αγίας Σοφίας (από Εγνατία μέχρι την πλατεία Αγίας Σοφίας, καθώς και περιμετρικά της πλατείας Αγίας Σοφίας), Παύλου Μελά και Ελ. Βενιζέλου.
Как сообщило Управление дорожной инспекции, движение автотранспорта будет осуществляться по альтернативным маршрутам (από ανατολικά προς δυτικά μέσω Κατσιμίδη – Περιφερειακής Οδού – Αγίου Δημητρίου – Ολυμπιάδος και από δυτικά προς ανατολικά μέσω Λαγκαδά).
It was noted that traffic controllers will be at key points and control the situation.
Protests during the opening of the TIF have become traditional in Greece, but Thessaloniki has not seen such a heat of passion for many years.