Macedonian police reopen border for a trickle of refugees

THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Macedonia intermittently opened its border with Greece to a tiny trickle of Syrian and Iraqi refugees Wednesday, leaving about 10,000 more people camped on the Greek side, with more arriving daily.

See Full Article

The border bottleneck has left at least 25,000 people stranded in Greece, the first European country that migrants reach in smuggling boats from Turkey. As the prosperous but divided continent flails in search of a workable solution, individual countries led by Austria have imposed immigration caps that have caused a domino effect down the Balkan immigration corridor, which has been traversed by a million people over the past year.

Greek police say Macedonian police opened the Idomeni crossing at midnight Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday, each time for two hours. They admitted a total of 170 people from Syria and Iraq -- the only nationalities allowed to continue north.

Hundreds, including many families with small children, arrive daily at Idomeni in northern Greece, where two official camps are so full that thousands have set up tents in fields all around.

Macedonia says it will only allow in as many refugees as Serbia, its northern neighbour, accepts each day.

A field official with the United Nations refugee agency on the Macedonian side of the crossing said authorities will soon send a train with about 500 people from the nearby town of Gevgelija to the Serbian border. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Jasmin Rexhepi, head of the aid group Legis, told The Associated Press that a group of about 50 Pakistanis remain trapped for a fourth day on the Macedonian side of the border between two razor-wire fences. He said Macedonian authorities are trying to send them back to Greece because the group crossed the border illegally.

Rexhepi also said that about 1,000 refugees -- 750 Afghans and 250 Iraqis -- are stuck at Macedonia's border with Serbia, which has refused them entry.

In Greece, arrivals by smuggling boats from Turkey on the eastern Aegean Sea islands continue at a rate of nearly 2,000 a day. More than 120,000 have landed so far this year, on top of 850,000 in 2015. A string of hastily thrown-up transit camps on the mainland has rapidly filled up, and hundreds are sleeping rough in a central Athens square.

Authorities have restricted the flow of migrants from the islands to Athens' port of Piraeus, where about 1,000 people still arrived by ferry by midday Wednesday.

Testorides reported from Skopje, Macedonia. Nicholas Paphitis in Athens contributed



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Second World War bomber touches down on Canadian soil

    Canada News CTV News
    It was a landing most people have only seen in old war movies. A massive B-29 bomber, nicknamed Fifi, touched down on Canadian soil this week as part of a mission to keep history alive. Source
  • Tesla shares fall after Musk's spat with British diver

    World News CBC News
    Shares of Tesla Inc fell 2.75 per cent on Monday after CEO Elon Musk directed abuse on Twitter at one of the British cave divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai children last week. A number of analysts and investors, requesting anonymity, told Reuters that Musk's comments are adding to their concerns that his public statements are distracting him from Tesla's main business of producing electric cars. Source
  • No prison time for day care owner who put toddler in noose

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis day care owner was sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation for trying to kill a toddler in her home by hanging him from a noose. Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at $300 a pop

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at cost of $300 per bunny

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Families bury the dead after bloody weekend in Nicaragua

    World News CTV News
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Families began burying the dead Monday following a bloody weekend in Nicaragua as police and paramilitary groups attacked roadblocks set up by anti-government demonstrators demanding President Daniel Ortega's exit from office. The family and friends of 20-year-old university student Gerald Vasquez, one of two students killed Saturday when pro-government groups attacked the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, carried his casket to a Managua cemetery, chanting "They…
  • Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent molten rock crashing through the roof of a sightseeing boat off Hawaii's Big Island, injuring 23 people Monday, officials said. A woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a broken thigh bone, the Hawaii County Fire Department said. Source
  • Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking the government to court over six arrests made last month. The people were taken into custody June 18 when Regina police enforced an eviction order. Source
  • Mother of girls shot at playground calls for community programs to stop gun crime

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The mother of two young girls who were hit by stray bullets at a Toronto playground last month called Monday for better education and community support programs, not increased police presence, to curb gun violence in the city. Source
  • Ontario's chief coroner testifies at Elizabeth Wettlaufer inquiry

    Canada News CTV News
    Unusual patterns of deaths in long-term care homes are not always tracked or analyzed because some death reports are not filed electronically, as rules require, the province's chief coroner said Monday. Dr. Dirk Huyer's assessment came at the public inquiry examining the circumstances that allowed 51-year-old Elizabeth Wettlaufer to kill eight elderly patients living at long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario. Source