Greek authorities on Tuesday pledged that problems at Idomeni, on Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), caused by a buildup of thousands of migrants and refugees due to stricter restrictions, will be overcome in the coming days.
In comments made to Skai TV, Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said the government would seek to ease overcrowding without resorting to force.
“We do not want any bloodshed. We do not want to create a situation like Hungary at Idomeni,” he said, adding that between 1,000 and 1,200 migrants had been left stranded in the area after FYROM authorities imposed a strict filtering policy allowing only refugees to cross the border.
He said the issue would be resolved “in the next few days.” “I can’t say if it will be one or two, but it won’t be in 10 or 15 days.”
Many of the migrants refused entry at the FYROM border are being transported back to Athens. More than 600 have found shelter at the Tae Kwon Do Stadium in Faliro. The Greek Red Cross has provided humanitarian aid and food.
Meanwhile, migrants and asylum seekers keep pouring into the country. A total 20,325 people are estimated to have arrived on Greece’s islands in the first six days of December.
The death toll also continues to rise. Six Afghan children drowned yesterday after a rubber dinghy sank off the coast of Cesme, opposite Chios island.