Greece adding more guards on Turkey border in bid to stop migrants

The Greek Police are adding guards to the country’s northeastern regional unit of Rodopi in a bid to stop the arrival of refugees and migrants from neighbouring Turkey, Greek-American weekly newspaper the National Herald reported on Sunday.

Around 20 officers serving in Evros have been moved to Rodopi and another 65 police officers have been transferred there from other parts of northern Greece, it said.

The report arrives a day after the Greek prime minister's office said that a new steel barrier would be built in Greece's northeastern border with Turkey by April as part of a move to prevent migration.

"The premier has pledged to visit the area again by April when the project is expected to be completed," the office of Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a briefing following the Greek prime minister’s visit to the region.

The decision to add police to Rodopi was sparked by unlawful migrants and refugees found in mountainous areas, hoping to cross there instead of the more heavily-patrolled Evros area, the National Herald said. 

Tensions between Athens and Ankara over migrants peaked last March after Turkish authorities announced they would no longer stop any attempts to cross into Europe through the Greek border. 

Greece responded by temporarily suspending asylum applications and forcibly pushed back onto Turkish territory thousands of people waiting on the no-man’s-land between the two neighbours.