Greece Will Post 400 Guards on Evros River Border with Turkey

Αssociated Press

FILE - The river Evros is seen from a spot near the Greek town of Didymoteicho, at the Turkish border. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

ATHENS - While concentrating on stopping flows to islands from Turkey, Greek authorities will also add 400 guards along the land border along the Evros River in a bid to keep more from trying to make the perilous crossing.

Recruits are being sought for the duty along an area where two Greek soldiers almost two years ago had accidentally crossed into Turkey and were kept in detention for months before being released.

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis during during his recent visit to the nearby city of Alexandroupoli the guards will be deployed in March as the winter months are especially treacherous for people to try to get across.

A second area where there will be frequent police checks has already been activated further back from the river on the Egnatia Highway, where there will be nightly patrols to intercept and arrest those that manage to cross the Evros and head toward Thessaloniki, said Kathimerini.

Four closed pre-departure centers, three in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and one in the Thessaloniki area,  will keep those arrested while the government also is mulling whether to also extend a barbed wire fence at Orestiada along the entire length of the Evros River.