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Stranded refugees struggle to keep hope alive on Greek-Macedonian border

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By Euronews
Stranded refugees struggle to keep hope alive on Greek-Macedonian border

The fate of thousands of men, women and children stuck at the closed Greek-Macedonian crossing is in the balance as EU leaders again discussed the migrant crisis on Thursday.

And for the refugees and migrants in the squalid Idomeni tent camp, this is more than a political decision or a story for the media. This is about their lives.

“They have to solve this issue for us, they have to,” says Mohammed from Aleppo.

“We don’t want them to take pictures of us and put us in newspapers just to remind people that we exist. We don’t exist anymore. We are finished. Now we are finished.”

As sanitary conditions deteriorate, Greek medical teams are vaccinating those in close contact with a Syrian girl who was diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

Sent back to the camp after giving birth to her baby in hospital, 19-year-old Shukria al Baker from Idlib asked EU leaders to “be merciful for the children here” and to ‘let us in’.

“There are children dying. Thank God my daughter wasn’t affected. But there were children with me in the hospital who are dying because of the conditions here,” she said.

At least 10,000 people, mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, are estimated to be in Idomeni, with over 45,000 more stuck at ports and camps across Greece as countries along the so-called Balkan route close their borders to the flow of migrants hoping to reach Western Europe.