New Democracy opposition chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday headed north to Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to visit a makeshift camp at Idomeni after several hundred migrants and refugees who had been trapped at the location breached the border in their effort to reach northern Europe.
The conservative party’s spokesman on Tuesday told Skai TV that Mitsotakis is concerned of Idomeni becoming a “no man’s land” over which authorities have no control.
“The state’s absence from Idomeni is absolute,” Giorgos Koumoutsakos said of the camp that was until Monday's exodus home to around 14,000 migrants living in squalid conditions.
Koumoutsakos's comments came after after police on Monday were unable to stop hundreds of frustrated migrants marching out of the mud-bogged camp to a stretch of the Greek-FYROM border that was unguarded and also amid suggestions that they were incited to try their luck by crossing a fast-moving river. The number of those that actually made it across is unclear, with some sources suggesting they came to over 2,000 and others putting them at around 300.
“We are at risk of a third, diplomatic, crisis at a time when talks over the bailout review have frozen and the refugee crisis has escalated to dangerous proportions,” said Koumoutsakos, referring to criticism that Greece is not doing enough to manage tens of thousands of migrants and refugees trapped in the country after its northern neighbors sealed their borders.