Thousands of Migrants Stuck in Greece as Macedonia Limits Entry

Thousands of Migrants Stuck in Greece as Macedonia Limits Entry
Tue Feb 23, 2016 16:11:14

Thousands of refugees have been left stranded in Greece after neighboring Macedonia imposed additional border restrictions to curb the influx of asylum seekers.

Greek police on Tuesday started removing the asylum seekers stranded at the Greek-Macedonian border after Macedonia prevented asylum seekers from Afghanistan from crossing into the Balkan country.

The officials in Skopje also demanded additional travel documentation from Iraqis and Syrians seeking to enter Macedonia.
Witnesses said about 600 people had been surrounded by Greek police in one area seen from the Macedonian side of the border. They were expected to be taken to relocation camps inside Greece.

About 1,000 refugees were at the Greek border camp in Idomeni, while 80 buses with 4,000 more refugees were waiting at a nearby gas station to reach the border on Sunday.

Greek authorities said a further 3,000 who arrived at Piraeus port from the Greek islands on Monday did not continue their journey to northern Greece.

Macedonia’s fresh entry restrictions came after neighboring Serbia refused to allow passage to Afghan refugees. Austria also imposed a daily quota on asylum claims and limited refugee transit through the country.

Elsewhere in Europe, France warned up to 4,500 refugees at a camp on the outskirts of the French city of Calais known as the “Jungle” to leave by 8 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.

French police said if the eviction is approved, between 800 and 1,000 people will be moved to a newly-built container camp and the slum will be razed.

Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of refugees who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, forcing more people to flee their homes.

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