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Fewer immigrants through Greek's northeast

Dec. 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

ORESTIADA, Greece, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Greek police said virtually no illegal immigrants are entering the country through Orestiada near the northeastern border with Turkey.

About 55,000 people were detected attempting to enter Greece by wading through the Evros River from Turkey in 2011, EUobserver reported Thursday.

Pashalis Syritoudis, director of police in Orestiada, said that number is nearly zero after barbed-wire fences, land mines, thermal night vision cameras and regular patrols were instituted in the area as part of Operation Xenious Zeus in August.

"In July 2012 we had 6,500 illegal migrants who passed the border. In August, we had only 1,800. In September, only 71 illegal immigrants, in October only 26 and now there are none," he said.

"We have given a very clear message to the facilitators [migrant smugglers] and their source countries in North Africa and other countries that Evros is no longer an easy passage to enter Europe," Syritoudis added.

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