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Greece: Macedonia opens Idomeni border crossing01:14

Greece: Macedonia opens Idomeni border crossing

Greece, Idomeni border crossing
August 21, 2015 at 13:52 GMT +00:00 · Published

Macedonia has opened its border with Greece to let in hundreds of refugees and migrants at the Idomeni border crossing, Friday.

The first group of 300 refugees, made up of women and children, were let through the border with an announcement that groups of 300 refugees will be allowed to cross the border every two hours.

According to the Macedonian police, all the refugees waiting in the buffer zone between Greece and Macedonia will be allowed to cross into Macedonia. Police said they had to pursue many refugees who did not want to wait and attempted to run through the corn fields to cross the border themselves.

On August 20 the Macedonian government declared a state of emergency in two border regions to tackle the growing refugee crisis. The Macedonian army has been mobilised to block thousands of asylum seekers and refugees who are trying to cross into the country from Greece. Some 3,000 refugees are currently living in the buffer zone between the two nations. People are sleeping out in the open as they wait, in the hope that Macedonia will open its border.

Up to 44,000 people have reportedly travelled through Macedonia in the past two months alone. Migrants rarely apply for asylum in Macedonia, instead passing through the country on their way to northern European nations like Germany and Sweden. Greece alone has received, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) figures, 124,000 migrants this year, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with 50,000 people arriving in July alone.

Greece: Macedonia opens Idomeni border crossing01:14
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Macedonia has opened its border with Greece to let in hundreds of refugees and migrants at the Idomeni border crossing, Friday.

The first group of 300 refugees, made up of women and children, were let through the border with an announcement that groups of 300 refugees will be allowed to cross the border every two hours.

According to the Macedonian police, all the refugees waiting in the buffer zone between Greece and Macedonia will be allowed to cross into Macedonia. Police said they had to pursue many refugees who did not want to wait and attempted to run through the corn fields to cross the border themselves.

On August 20 the Macedonian government declared a state of emergency in two border regions to tackle the growing refugee crisis. The Macedonian army has been mobilised to block thousands of asylum seekers and refugees who are trying to cross into the country from Greece. Some 3,000 refugees are currently living in the buffer zone between the two nations. People are sleeping out in the open as they wait, in the hope that Macedonia will open its border.

Up to 44,000 people have reportedly travelled through Macedonia in the past two months alone. Migrants rarely apply for asylum in Macedonia, instead passing through the country on their way to northern European nations like Germany and Sweden. Greece alone has received, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) figures, 124,000 migrants this year, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with 50,000 people arriving in July alone.