The expanded security force was another clear sign of a shift from hunting for survivors to the rebuilding ahead after Tuesday's powerful quake, which has claimed at least 101 lives.
More than two dozen people were still missing most in the densely packed rubble of a kitchen products factory and rescuers listened in vain for any hint of life.
"Quiet!" shouted a French specialist hunched over an ultra-sensitive listening set capable of picking up a survivor's breathing deep in the wreckage. But again there was nothing. Sniffer dogs roamed silently over the rubble.
An international team of weary rescuers narrowed down the round-the-clock searches to six sites that might still contain survivors.
"There's always hope," said Panaghiotis Fourlas, deputy chief of the Greek Fire Department. After last month's giant quake in northwestern Turkey, a 4-year-old boy was found alive after more than six days.
"I have forgotten what sleep is," yawned a Red Cross rescuer, Grigoris Angelopoulos, after a third night at work.
At the presidential mansion, President Costis Stephanopoulos honored a Turkish earthquake team that assisted in several rescues after the magnitude 5.9 temblor. The aid was another sign of warming relations between the two historic enemies. Greek rescuers were among the first to help after Turkey's Aug. 17 quake.
"We will never forget the help you gave us, and hope in the future we have happy events to bring us closer together," Stephanopoulos told the team, which received special plaques.
The two quakes have worked to crumble mistrust between the two NATO members that have nearly gone to war three times in the last 25 years. Greece has already lifted its objection to European Union funding for Turkey, said it will support its EU candidacy and fulfill all its pledges of earthquake aid to Turkey.
At the National Archaeological Museum, experts struggled to identify thousands of tiny fragments and shards of ancient pottery broken and scattered by the quake. Of all Greece's antiquities, exhibits in the museum suffered the most.
Hardest hit at the museum was the Classical period collection dating back to the 5th and 4th century B.C., when Athenians built the Parthenon.
Greek government officials estimate rebuilding after the quake will cost more than $800 million.
That's a tough blow after years of fiscal discipline aimed at entering the European Union's single currency group. Other nations have pledged help, including the United States.
In the northern suburbs of Athens most punished by the quake, many people camped outside their fractured homes and refused appeals to move to tent cities or other sites, fearing that looters would rob their homes, although few incidents were rported.
"We have to guard our houses," insisted Pavlos Teriadis, whose home suffered deep cracks.
To prevent looting, about 8,000 police officers and 3,000 soldiers fanned out around the quake zone. The government arranged temporary housing in exhibition halls, mobile homes and cruise ships. It even rented two entire hotels in nearby Marathon, but there were no takers.
Building inspectors conducting a block by block examination already marked nearly 2,000 homes for demolition and more than 4,500 temporarily inhabitable. Rescue workers are planning to erect 20,000 tents able to house 100,000 people.
The newspaper To Vima reported some architectural plans for collapsed factories were found missing from municipal files. A special prosecution team is investigating whether some developers tried to circumvent Greece's strict anti-quake rules.
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