NEWS

Refugees head for the north despite border crackdown

refugees-head-for-the-north-despite-border-crackdown

Around 2,500 refugees who arrived at the port of Piraeus on Thursday by ferry from the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Kos and Leros continued their journeys toward Western and Northern Europe, with most said to be heading for Greece’s northern borders.

KTEL intercity bus services linking the capital to the northern port of Thessaloniki were inadequate so additional vehicles were added to the route. Instead of the 11 usual daily connections linking Athens and Thessaloniki, there are now 42, with a bus leaving the capital for the northern port city every half-hour.

Train services were also boosted to deal with increased demand. An estimated 450 migrants crowded the capital’s Larissis railway station early Thursday, virtually all of whom were seeking a ticket to Thessaloniki, Kathimerini understands, but most of the seats were taken. After an emergency meeting, railway officials arranged for additional services.

It remains unclear how the migrants will continue their journeys beyond Greece. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has declared a state of emergency due to the migrant crisis, virtually closing its borders.

Train services linking FYROM and Serbia were also suspended as large numbers of migrants camped out in the no-man’s land between the two countries.