VIDEO: About 200,000 Migrants Stranded in Greece as Bottleneck Grows

Wed Feb 24, 2016 20:27:15

Thousands of refugees’ crowd transit camps as bottlenecks on the Greece-Macedonia border continue to grow.

Six thousand people were stranded in overcrowded transit camps on the border between Greece and Macedonia on Wednesday (February 24), part of a growing bottleneck of refugees stranded by new border restrictions and closures across Europe.

The backlog began to grow after Macedonia recently imposed tougher restrictions on migrants passing through the country on their way to Western Europe.

Earlier on Wednesday Macedonia suspended all transports of migrants from its border with Greece north after countries along the Balkan route, including Serbia, began denying passage to all those not coming from conflict regions of Syria and Iraq.

Greece has protested against restrictions imposed by countries further north along the main land migration route into Europe. Migrant Minister Yannis Mouzalas singled out controls brought in by Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia after a meeting of their police chiefs last week.

Greece’s migrant minister singled out controls brought in by Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia after a meeting of their police chiefs last week.

“Since the beginning of January we’ve had some 95,000 arrivals in Greece, which is a huge increase in comparison with the same period last year,” said UNHCR Greece spokesperson, Stella Nanou, in the transit camp in Idomeni on Greece’s border with Macedonia.

More than a million migrants and refugees passed through Greece last year, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan.

Another 1,600 arrived on the mainland from outlying islands bordering Turkey on Wednesday morning alone.

Aid workers and non-governmental organizations urged once again for the EU to adopt a common strategy in dealing with the unprecedented influx of people travelling towards Western Europe.

“What we have been urging for a long time is for a common strategy in order to deal with the refugee crisis in Europe. This is not only a Greek problem, so all European states should try to solve this in a common way,” Nanou added.

Greek government officials said there were an estimated 20,000 migrants stranded in the country on Wednesday, AP reported.

S/SH 11

string(1899) "[{"id":"1786452","sort":"3500044","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/05/alalam_635902783857713301_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: Thousands of Migrants Stranded near Closed Border in Freezing Cold"} ,{"id":"1787456","sort":"3500045","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/08/alalam_635905548792034428_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: Another Misery at Sea, 23 Migrants Drowned Off the Turkish Coast"} ,{"id":"1787630","sort":"3500046","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/09/alalam_635906127507421761_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Berlin, Ankara Seek NATO Aid to Stop Traffickers Sending Migrants: Merkel"} ,{"id":"1787911","sort":"3500047","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/10/alalam_635906929731870895_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VDO Shows Rescue of Lone Survivor of Boat that Sank and killed 27 Migrants"} ,{"id":"1790352","sort":"3500048","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/17/alalam_635913247191646415_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Belgium Police Mark Migrants with Indelible Ink"} ,{"id":"1792351","sort":"3500049","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/23/alalam_635918372329185512_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Germany Criticizes ‘Shameful’ Attacks on Migrants in Saxony"} ,{"id":"1792368","sort":"3500050","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/23/alalam_635918406460830420_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Thousands of Migrants Stuck in Greece as Macedonia Limits Entry"} ,{"id":"1792399","sort":"3500051","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/23/alalam_635918476919383862_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"IOM: Migrants Flow to Europe Surpasses 110,000 in 2016"} ,{"id":"1792620","sort":"3500052","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/24/alalam_635919155189813410_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Amnesty International Slams Europe ‘Shameful’ Response to Migrants"} ,{"id":"1792754","sort":"3500053","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/02/24/alalam_635919395390184009_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Reducing Migrants ‘Question of Survival for EU’: Austria"} ]"