Refugee Situation on Greek-FYROM Border Deteriorates

Photo: REUTERS / Yannis Behrakis

BELGRADE – New borders and restrictions have led to an an increase in the number of migrants at Greece’s Idomeni checkpoint from 5,000 to 14,000, Greek media reported Thursday.

According to the Athens news agency, citing Greek police, about 10,000 refugees have settled in a camp in the town of Idomeni. Another 4,000 are in reception centers in Nea Kavala and Hersonissos.

On February 29, Greek media reported that up to 6,000 migrants and refugees had amassed in camps in Idomeni, on the Greek side of the border, and were awaiting permission to enter a neutral zone on their way to FYROM (Macedonia).

The backlog arose after Macedonia refused entry to Afghan refugees in February.
Europe has faced an enormous influx of migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. Hundreds of thousands of refugees use transit routes through the Balkans to reach more prosperous countries in Western Europe.

The EU border agency Frontex recorded over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in the European Union in 2015.

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