On Friday, 27 September 2019, the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, opened the 27th KAVALAEXPO at the "Apostolos Mardyris" Exposition – Conference Centre in Nea Karvali.
In response to journalist questions while on his way to the Expo, the Minister of National Defence stated the following with regard to the refugee issue:
"If the islands are not decongested now, they may literally sink or worse. There is a need to transfer some refugees to the mainland. We are dealing with the refugee issue not just as a dramatic humanitarian situation, but also as a potential threat to the country's internal security. The refugee issue is a big, complex issue, whose magnitude makes it a national crisis; therefore, it requires special and careful management. We have daily meetings with the competent Minister, Mr. Chrysohoidis. Our plan, together with the competent Ministry of Citizen Protection and Migration Policy, is to raise awareness and convince our partners to take action and carry their share of the burden. So far, they haven't done so. They leave Greece carry a burden greater than it can. Of course, we will try to come to an understanding and find solutions. Concerning relocation sites, which are not only our responsibility, we are currently looking into various buildings across the country, not just camps. Even abandoned, industrial buildings with proper infrastructure. This is also part of our plan and we will see how it goes in the following days. In any case, however, it's the Ministry of Citizen Protection that has the lead, they lead the overall planning, we are just part of it. Because, when things get difficult, it is always the Armed Forces who are called to lend a helping hand. I think we will see the results of this plan in the following days".