Crowd control: Raw realities of the refugee crisis on Greece’s border


Europe’s refugee crisis hits greek borderGreek refugee crisisRefugee crisis: Mist hangs in the air above the northern Greek planes as the sun rises. Already the air is warm, promising another blistering September day.

Along the sides of the motorways shuffle clusters of refugees, each following the group ahead, all moving in one direction – toward the border of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonian a few kilometers ahead.

Most have already been walking since midnight after catching buses that left the city of Thessaloniki 75 kilometers away, dropping them several kilometers south of the village of Eidimoni, where Macedonia meets Greece.

Around 4,000 people a day, mostly from Syria and Iraq, are crossing between Greece and Macedonia through Eidimoni.

They are heading for European Union (EU) countries such as Germany and Sweden, who have already given a home to thousands of refugees.

Rising numbers

In recent months, the number of refugees making the journey across Europe has risen exponentially sparking many to name it a refugee crisis.

A local activist who has been providing assistance to refugees since last October, and who requested not to be named, said a year ago only around 300 a day would cross this border.

Luca Guanziroli, who works for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR on the border, said just last week the numbers crossing were only around 2,000, but had since doubled, and some 70 percent are Syrians.

“We knew the situation before we came here,” says Majid, a medical student from Aleppo in his early 20s.

“We saw this situation on the TV, so why did we come? For their money? For their food? No, we came just for some safety and an education.”

Majid and several others in his group were just one month away from finishing their degrees in medicine, mechanical engineering and economics before their university was closed due to fighting. They say if they cant finish their degrees, they will start again in Germany….[continue reading at Al Arabiya]


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Tags: Al Arabiya, Asylum, EU, Greece, Macedonia, migrant crisis, refugee crisis, and syria.