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Politics

Greek Riot Cops Being Deployed to Evros River Border with Turkey

With fears Turkey will try another push to get migrants across the northern land border with Greece along the Evros River, another 14 riot police units were sent to bolster security and join other forces there, including Army units, said Kathimerini.

The units will be dispatched from Athens, Thessaloniki, the regional unit of Thessaly and other regions and sent to Kastanies and Feres, the border areas where Greek police and soldiers were positioned to repel any attempts to cross by foot or over the river in February and March.

Turkey sent 10,000 refugees and migrants after complaining the European Union wasn’t living to its end of an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal in which Turkey was supposed to contain some 5.5 million refugees and migrants who’d gone there fleeing war and strife in their lands.

Sources from the Citizen Protection Ministry said more riot cops were sent right away because of delays in recruiting 400 more border guards due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that is slowly winding down but brought a lockdown across the country.

Greek police (ELAS) officials said it was down as a precaution and not because of any immediate concerns that another wave of migrants would be sent to the region by Turkey which is still dealing with the pandemic.

ELAS also wants another 125 police officers from various services across the country to strengthen the local border police departments to patrol along the river, whose treacherous currents took the lives of scores of refugees and migrants trying to cross since the swap deal was signed more than four years ago.

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told SKAI TV, “Greece is protecting and securing its borders, particularly its land borders,” in case there’s another migrant surge attempt.

“This was demonstrated in March in the most emphatic fashion,” he said in reference to the migrant standoff there before the virus hit.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested migrants would shortly return to the frontier following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

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