An attempt by the Greek Police (ELAS) Monday to halt a month-long migrants’ protest on the railway line connecting Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was short-lived as the protesters returned to the site shortly after the police intervention.
The railway line opened for a short while in the morning after police peacefully removed the migrants from the area.
But the migrants did not stay away for long. They returned with their tents and rolled large stones onto the railway tracks.
News that the crossing had reopened briefly buoyed the clients of railway operator Trainose, who have been unable to transport goods for weeks.
The situation in the broader area of Idomeni remained tense Monday after the migrants re-established their presence on and around the railway tracks. One Syrian man was injured under circumstances that remained unclear. Some reports indicated that he was hit by a police car but ELAS sources said the man was hurt following a fall. There were also conflicting reports regarding the seriousness of the man’s injuries.
The losses incurred by Trainose as a result of the ongoing occupation of the railway tracks have yet to be determined but the railway operator, which is slated for privatization, has been losing work at a fast rate. Last week alone, logistics firms canceled 400 scheduled cargo transfers. Greek import and export firms have been faced with a barrage of cancellations as they are unable to guarantee the swift delivery of goods.
More than 10,000 migrants have been living in tents in a makeshift settlement near the village of Idomeni. Thousands more are living in camps across the country, with 6,000 sleeping in cramped conditions at the site of the capital’s former airport in Elliniko.