Greece Emptying Refugee Camp at Idomeni

Southeast Europe | March 26, 2016, Saturday // 21:24|  views

A man stands in the camp of migrants in a refugee camp at the border between Greece and Macedonia, near Idomeni, Greece, 10 March 2016. Photo: EPA/BGNES

About 11,600 people have remained at the camp at Idomeni, on Greece’s border with Macedonia, as of Saturday after the Greek authorities started evacuating refugees to nearby camps the day before, AFP reported, citing official Greek figures.

About 400 refugees had been taken by bus from the camp on Friday. The rate of emptying the camp is expected to intensify on Monday, according to Giorgos Kyritsis,a spokesman for the government agency, which is coordinating Greece’s response to the migrant crisis.

Kyritsis said earlier this week that Greece would try “to create reception facilities for 30,000 people over the next 20 days," according to Reuters.

Migrants and refugees have been stranded at Idomeni after Macedonia and other countries along the Western Balkans route sealed their borders. They have been waiting in vain for the border to reopen but dire conditions at the squalid tent camp and bad weather have started to force the most desperate among them to accept transfers to other camps.

Greece’s Kathimerini news daily reported on Thursday that no migrants had arrived in Greece over the previous 24 hours - for the first time since the controversial EU-Turkey deal to curb the migrant flow into Europe entered into force last week. 

Meanwhile, the AP reported on Saturday that the last 237 migrants stranded at Macedonia’s border with Serbia have agreed to be moved to transit centers in the nearby town of Tabanovce and in Gevgelija, close to the border with Greece.


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Tags: macedonia, greece, Idomeni, EU, turkey, migrants, refugees, camp, Tabanovce, Gevgelija


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