As tensions flared anew at Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Wednesday, police detained five foreign nationals – a German, a Briton and three Norwegians – who are alleged to have committed a string of offenses while acting in purported solidarity with refugees who want to cross the border.
The German woman was arrested near the Idomeni refugee camp after officers found a can of pepper spray in her possession. The other four activists were said to be carrying transistor radios that were allegedly tuned into the frequency used by the Greek Police (ELAS).
Officers have been conducting spot checks on people in and around the Idomeni camp amid fears that certain activists are exhorting refugees and migrants to break through Greece’s border with FYROM.
Fresh clashes broke out between refugees and FYROM police on Wednesday when a group of around 30 people tried to clamber over the barbed-wire fence. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to push back the refugees.
In a related development, the Greek Foreign Ministry lodged complaints with the governments of Austria, Croatia, Serbia and the Czech Republic following claims by FYROM authorities according to which members of those countries’ security services participated in violence against migrants during clashes at the Greek-FYROM border on Sunday.