Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas pledged on Monday that authorities would ease overcrowding at Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) but said the government wants to avoid outbreaks of violence.
“We do not want any bloodshed,” he told Skai TV. “We do not want to create a situation like Hungary at Idomeni,” he added, referring to the small village on the border where thousands of migrants have been left stranded over the past few days after FYROM started allowing only refugees to cross the border.
“The issue will be resolved in the next few days,” said Mouzalas. “I can’t say if it will be one or two but it won’t be in 10 or 15 days.”
Protesting migrants have also caused rail services to be suspended, causing serious problems for Greek exporters and multi-national firms using shipping their goods to Piraeus and then using rail links to transport them to central Europe.
Mouzalas said that some 1,000 migrants are still camped out at Idomeni and that authorities are making efforts to prevent more travelling to northern Greece.
The government is currently preparing seven former army camps around Thessaloniki to house migrants.