The situation at the Greek-FYROM border has gotten out of control as 5,000 migrants and refugees have gathered in the area seeking to enter the country. The FYROM police have clashed with the large crowd and as a result ten people were injured, while four of them have suffered serious damage.
On Friday, August 21, police officers used tear gas and stun grenades in order to force the migrants and refugees back to Greece. Using razor wire the police have sealed the border area, while armored vehicles and riot police officers have arrived at the official crossing point near Gevgelija to repel the large crowd.
FYROM declared a state of emergency on its borders on Thursday, August 20 after weeks of chaos. Thousands of Syrians, Afghans and people of other nationalities who were trying to reach western Europe are being held back.
The injured were transported to Kilkis, in order to be hospitalized. FYROM police have avoided making any comments regarding the incident. Doctors Without Borders officials have arrived on scene to provide care to the injured refugees. “Our teams are located in Idomeni to provide care to those injured by the stun grenades,” noted the NGO.
FYROM’s Ministry of Interior announced that the country government’s decision to declare a state of emergency in the north and south borders meant that police and army forces would be deployed along the border with Greece. The statement noted that the police forces act in accordance with the orders for the state borders’ protection and will only allow entry into the country to a limited number of undocumented migrants and refugees, mostly belonging to vulnerable categories.
Greek president wants EU summit on refugee crisis
President Prokopis Pavlopoulos has proposed that a European Union leaders’ summit be called to discuss a mounting migrant and refugee crisis and called for closer cooperation with the United Nations.
In comments during a meeting on Saturday with Health Minister Panayiotis Kouroublis, Pavlopoulos said a burgeoning migration crisis “is not only a security issue but also a humanitarian concern.”
“There must be a common European policy,” he said, noting that this was “an obligation of the European Union and its institutions.” He called for an EU leaders’ summit to be called without delay and with the involvement of the UN refugee agency.