The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has laid on extra transport to carry migrants across its territory after days of havoc at its border with Greece.
Thousands – mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, fleeing wars in their homelands were able to board trains and buses on Sunday taking them to the Serbian frontier.
“The situation is under control, we have managed to establish a registration procedure for the people to travel further north and that seems to be going well,” said FYR of Macedonia’s Defence Minister Zoran Jolevski.
Both Greece and FYR of Macedonia have seen an unprecedented wave of migrants this year, with more than 160,000 arriving so far in Greece, in inflatable dinghies from the nearby Turkish coast. Few, if any, want to remain in Greece, which is in the grip of a financial crisis, or impoverished FYR of Macedonia, which, like Serbia, is not yet in the EU.
Nor do the authorities in either Greece, FYROM or Serbia have any direct interest in stemming the flow of migrants, who see their countries largely as transit zones.
So most of the migrants are aiming for EU-member Hungary. Once there they potentially can travel freely across the borders of most of the 28 EU-member states.
Meanwhile Serbia says more than 5,000 migrants arrived in just one day. Huge queues formed at processing centres as migrants waited for papers to legalise their transit.But getting into Hungary will not be easy as its government is building a razor wire fence to stop them from entering.