FYROM closes the Balkan refugee route

FYROM closes the Balkan refugee route

Skopje, 9 March 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

As of midnight, FYROM has closed its border for refugees, by not allowing their entry. This decision has followed the decision of Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia not to accept any more refugees. This decision brings an end to the Balkan route for refugees.

In the past 24 hours, no refugees have been allowed to enter FYROM from Greece.

Ministry of Interior said that no temporary permits have been issued for refugees, but a large number of them are blocked on the other side of the border.

According to the data of the Ministry of Interior, from January 1 until yesterday, 90 thousand refugees have entered FYROM. 44 thousand were from Syria, 26 thousand were from Afghanistan and over 18 thousand from Iraq. Out of them, only 30 have sought asylum.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior also said that 1050 refugees have been accommodated in the welcome center in Tabanoc and 500 others in Gevgelija.

UNHCR said that there are no problems with food, blankets, but refugees are facing the rain and the cold.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Popovski said that similar measures have been taken in the Balkan route countries and that the decisions are mutual.

According to him, every measure being applied by other countries of the Balkan route, will also be applied from Skopje. He said that the country doesn’t have any capacities to cope with great numbers of refugees. /ibna/