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Migrants ‘stuck’ on Greece border with Macedonia


On the Macedonian-Greek border, a large group of migrants from countries including Iran, Morocco and Pakistan blocked the railway line running between the two countries, stopping at least one train.

Skopje imposed the new restrictions after Serbia and Croatia announced they would turn back migrants who aren’t from Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan and are trying to cross into their territory from Macedonia.

Human rights groups also argue that it should be merit – not nationality – determining whether a person is considered a legitimate refugee.

Concerns over chaotic scenes at borders across Europe continues. The hunger strikers at the Greece-Macedonia border are among thousands of asylum seekers now trapped at borders.

He told reporters Monday that some of those seeking asylum in Austria are only “so-called refugees”, suggesting they have no reason to seek the safe haven reserved for those fleeing war and persecution.

The United Nations has condemned the new restrictions on travel based on nationality.

Nationals of other countries are being stopped, leading to protests by about 200 people, mainly Iranians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, with some on hunger strike, Mr Edwards said. Proper information needs to be provided to people affected by decisions at border points, and proper counselling needs to be available.

They said some 180,000 asylum seekers had already entered the country so far this month – compared with 181,000 in the whole of the previous month.

The Bulgarian news agency Bgnes reports that some migrants are chanting “We are not terrorists”, and have removed their shirts, while also refusing blankets, food and water offered to them by activists at the scene.

Macedonia and other Balkan countries have toughened criteria for border crossings in the wake of the deadly November13 Paris attacks.

“There has been no landing in Italy since the 19th of November”.

“The Greeks aren’t telling us anything”, he said.

Regarding the assistance set aside for Macedonia to tackle the crisis, Poposki said so far it had been intended for worldwide organizations, such as UNHCR and the Red Cross.

A man sews shut the mouth of a fellow migrant from Iran in protest at being held up at the Greece Macedonia border near Gevgelija