Blocked migrants protest at Greek-FYROM border
Migrants who have been blocked at the border between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) for three days, protested Saturday against being prevented from entering FYROM after new restrictions were imposed, an AFP journalist said.
Many of the migrants, who are stuck on the Greek side of the border at Idomeni, are from Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and are angry after Serbia and FYROM decided to only allow passage to people fleeing conflict zones.
More than 1,000 people of different nationalities were at the border crossing, called Gevgelija in FYROM, on Saturday. Some carried banners calling for the border to be opened, while others read "We are sorry for France but we are not dangerous," in an apparent reference to some of the suspects in last week's Paris attacks having used Europe's migrant crisis to slip into the continent.
The protest comes a day after migrants sat on railway tracks hampering trains between Greece and FYROM.
Greece's alternate migration minister, Yiannis Mouzalas, went to Idomeni on Saturday for talks with local officials on the situation.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty have traveled to Greece and up through the Balkans this year, aiming to start new lives in more prosperous northern European countries.
But on Thursday countries along the migrant route began tightening restrictions by accepting only those fleeing war, causing a backlog of hundreds of people.