By COSTAS KANTOURIS and KONSTANTIN TESTORIDES, Linked Press
IDOMENI, Greece (AP) — Migrants barred from crossing the Greece-Macedonia border held a fourth day of protests Sunday, as Macedonia’s president criticized the European Union more than the refugee crisis for a lack of economic support and information sharing.
The influx of migrants into Macedonia has heightened tensions in the nation, President Gjorgje Ivanov stated.
“The risk of attainable conflict in between refugees and migrants, the migrants and police and army, and amongst migrants and local people is rated as higher,” Ivanov told reporters Sunday soon after meeting with going to European Council president Donald Tusk in Macedonia’s capital, Skopje.
Numerous European nations, such as EU members Slovenia and Croatia and non-members Serbia and Macedonia, have declared they will only allow “war-zone refugees” from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to transit via their countries on their way to central and northern Europe.
This policy has left many other folks stranded in the Greek border town for four days, demanding to be let in and chanting slogans such as “Freedom!” and “We are not terrorists.”
On Sunday, an Iranian man threatened to cut his wrists with a razor if not permitted into Macedonia. Police intervened to disarm him, but, in the scuffle, he reduce his face.
The number of migrants getting barred from entering Macedonia has fallen significantly Sunday, from much more than two,000 to around 1,300 in the early evening. Many of them took buses and taxis to Athens and Thessaloniki. Greek police think they might be trying to locate other routes, like with the assist of smugglers.
Ivanov also stated that Macedonia has the capacity to shelter about two,000 folks in its temporary transit centers.
“Any boost in these numbers will improve permanent and direct threats and dangers for the national security of Macedonia,” he added.
A total of six,000 refugees crossed into Macedonia from early Saturday via early Sunday, police say. About 500,000 refugees have transited by means of Macedonia in 2015.
Konstantin Testorides reported from Skopje, Macedonia. Demetris Nellas contributed to this report from Athens, Greece.
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