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

  • Mudslinging continues as B.C. election nears halfway mark

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Leaders of British Columbia's main political parties are continuing to take shots at each other's election promises and past performances as the campaign nears the halfway mark. NDP Leader John Horgan hosted a campaign rally in Vancouver on Sunday, where he told the crowd that Liberal Leader Christy Clark is working for her donors, not for the average British Columbian. Source
  • South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Fresh off an immense North Korean parade that revealed an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, rival South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that Pyongyang's follow-up act will be even bigger. Source
  • 'This is where I want to be': Canadian woman on fighting ISIS in Syria

    World News CTV News
    A B.C. fashion model-turned-freedom fighter is speaking out about her decision to rejoin the fight against ISIS in Syria. Hanna Bohman, 48, has travelled to Syria twice. She returned to Vancouver in June, 2016 after rejoining other foreigners in a faction of Kurdish fighters. Source
  • N.L. fisherman's hunger strike ends in hospitalization

    Canada News CTV News
    A Newfoundland fisherman’s hunger strike ended Sunday with an ambulance taking him to hospital, though his supporters say their fight is far from finished. “I almost lost my son there today,” Richard Gillett’s father, John Gillett, told reporters on Sunday. Source
  • Venezuelans struggling in U.S. as home country implodes

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- People crowd outside a church near Miami's international airport, chatting about family and friends left behind in Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo as they wait more than an hour to receive rice, beans, yogurt and other food for their families. Source
  • Changes at passport offices due to terrorism concerns

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The federal government has been quietly making changes to passport offices in a bid to improve security and address concerns that the facilities could be easy targets for a terrorist attack. Civil servants in passport and other government offices have for years faced bomb threats, and hostility from individuals who are disgruntled, drunk or suffering mental illnesses. Source
  • Student killed during hammer throw at track meet

    World News Toronto Sun
    WHEATON, Ill. — A college student has died after being struck during a hammer-throw event at a track meet in suburban Chicago. Wheaton College officials say 19-year-old student Ethan Roser of Cincinnati was volunteering at a track and field competition at the school Saturday when he was accidentally struck by a hammer. Source
  • Obama meets with at-risk youth ahead of Chicago speech

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Former President Barack Obama met Sunday with at-risk young men and boys in his hometown of Chicago before his first major post-presidency speech. The former president spent time at a roundtable with youth from theorganization Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny located in the Roseland/Pullman neighbourhood in South Side Chicago where Obama started as a community organizer at age 25. Source
  • Police stop 12-year-old boy from driving across Australia

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia. The unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from his home in Kendall on the east coast when he was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the remote mining town of Broken Hill because a bumper bar was dragging on the road, a police statement said on Sunday. Source
  • Police stop 12-year-old boy who drove 1,300 km across Australia

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia - Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia. A police statement said on Sunday the unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometres from his home in Kendall on the east coast when was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the mining town of Broken Hill because a bumper bar was dragging on the road. Source