Macedonian Army Builds Metal Fence on Border with GreeceSoutheast Europe | November 28, 2015, Saturday // 14:25| views
Macedonian Army soldiers start erecting a metal fence along the border with Greece, near Gevgelija, Macedonia, 28 November 2015. EPA/BGNES
The Macedonian Army has begun erecting a wire fence along the country’s border with Greece to control a wave of migrants trying to cross, local TV channel Telma reported on Saturday.
The fence is being built in the areas where ‘economic migrants’ have been stopped with Macedonia denying them entry, Telma said.
Between 700 and 1,500 migrants, coming mainly from Algeria, Morocco, Iran and Pakistan, have been stranded near the Greek border town of Idomeni for nearly two weeks now after Macedonia restricted passage in the wake of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris. Only those fleeing armed conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are allowed to cross as they are typically being granted asylum in the EU.
Two days ago, protesting migrants tried to storm into Macedonia from Greece near Idomeni, breaking Macedonian police lines and tearing down a portion of a waist-high barbed wire barrier.
The Macedonian Army hasn’t disclosed how long the metal fence will be. The government has said that the border will remain open to all those who are fleeing war zones, Telma said.
Macedonian soldiers using heavy macines are driving three-meter high metal poles into the ground and rolling out wire to build the fence near Gevgelija border crossing point.
Balkan countries have clamped down at their borders recently to stem the largely unchecked flow of people, leaving tens of thousands stranded in Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia. The United Nations has condemned the new restrictions based on nationality.