An increasing amount of migrants are attempting to leave Greece by hiding in freight trains that leave the country for other EU-border states such as FYROM, Reuters has reported.
Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian migrants have been living in “old rusting” train carriages that are out of commission in a train station outside of Thessaloniki, the news agency has reported, and when a freight train heading for Europe passes through the station, they risk everything by leaping into the train in hopes of crossing the border.
“I promised myself I would try five times. If I’m not successful, I will try to cross from somewhere else,” Khalif, a 20-year-old migrant said, according to the report.
Some migrants do cross the Greece-FYROM border successfully, but more often than not they got arrested in FYROM and sent back to Greece.
The border between FYROM and Greece has been closed since February 2016 when it was announced that they would not be accepting any migrants into the country. This has resulted in more than 60,000 migrants finding themselves bottle-necked in Greece, living in migrant reception centers while awaiting their asylum requests to be processed.