NEWS

UN agency praises Greece on handling of refugees

un-agency-praises-greece-on-handling-of-refugees

The UN refugee agency is praising Greece's effort to take in refugees while scolding some of its European neighbors for suddenly slamming shut their borders and not keeping their promises – causing a "looming humanitarian crisis" on the continent.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said 25,000 people have been stranded in Greece after neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and other European countries closed their borders to refugees, many trying to reach more welcoming countries like Germany and Sweden.

That's caused a backlog with some 1,800 people – mostly Syrians and Iraqis – pouring into Greece from Turkey across the Aegean each day.

Fleming said Wednesday that only 325 people have been relocated under a European Union agreement last year in which members pledged to relocate 160,000. So far, 1,539 places have been made available. [AP]