EU-Turkey meeting on refugees likely as pressure builds on Greek border
Amid reports of a possible meeting soon between the European Union and Turkey on the refugee crisis, the pressure continued to mount on Greece’s northern border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where hundreds of migrants are stuck demanding passage.
The bottleneck started forming in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, after FYROM announced that it will not be granting entry to so-called “economic migrants,” leaving an estimated 1,000 from Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh camping rough on the outskirts of the Greek village of Idomeni.
At least five migrants on Monday reportedly sewed their lips to protest the restrictions. Others are said to be injuring themselves so they can seek medical attention across the border, while others still were reported to have blocked at least one train from passing by lying down on the track.
A spokesperson for the German government on Monday suggested that a meeting may take place between officials from Berlin, Athens and Ankara in the next few days to discuss cooperation in curbing the inflow, though Athens did not confirm it.
A senior EU official also said that a summit may take place on Sunday. “There is a deal between Turkey and the Commission about reinvigorating Turkey’s EU accession talks and at the same time stemming migration flows to Europe,” the official was quoted by Reuters as saying.