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Going nowhere: Refugees stuck at Greece-Macedonian border

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Going nowhere: Refugees stuck at Greece-Macedonian border


Hundreds of migrants and refugees remain stranded between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with intermittent border closures and regulations hampering their journey to a new life.

Only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans are deemed eligible to get through in the first place but even these groups now need to have extra, essential paperwork about their destination.

“In addition to all the identification and registration paperwork, they now have to register at the police cabin at the end of their stay at this camp and state their destination country,” said Gemma Gillie of the humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.

“They then take that paper to the border, and the police at the border will check it. And unless it says Germany or Austria, they are not allowed to cross into FYROM. So even if they are Syrian, Afghan or Iraqi nationals, if it does not say Germany or Austria, they are turned back from the border.”

Things could get harsher still for those fleeing war zones if Hungary’s leader has his way.

Having already fenced off his own country’s borders, Viktor Orban now wants Macedonian and Bulgarian authorities to do the same on their border with Greece to curb the inflow of migrants into Europe.

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