• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Asylum crisis
Border situation worsens in Greece
Refugees arriving at Vienna's Westbahnhof station. File photo: Carit

Border situation worsens in Greece

The Local/AFP · 27 Feb 2016, 14:58

Published: 27 Feb 2016 14:58 GMT+01:00

The buildup began in earnest last week after Macedonia began refusing entry to Afghans and imposed stricter document controls on Syrians and Iraqis, slowing the passage of migrants and refugees to a trickle.

And the situation looked set to worsen significantly after Slovenia and Croatia, both EU members, and Serbia and Macedonia said they would restrict the number of daily arrivals to 580.

The tighter controls have left thousands -- including many children -- stranded in Greece, as the bloc's worst migration crisis since World War II shows no sign of abating.

By Saturday, some 5,500 people were stranded at Idomeni, local police said, with another 800 gathered at another provisional camp some 20 kilometres (12 miles) away.

Since Thursday night, only 150 people have crossed into Macedonia, officials said, putting the total number of refugees and migrants currently on Greek soil at around 25,000.

Tensions were running high along the border with some 400 people protesting by the Idomeni crossing early on Saturday, demanding that the Macedonian authorities let them in.

Friday's announcement by four Balkan states came a week after Austria said it would only allow 80 people claim asylum per day, and also pledged to limit the daily number of people crossing the country to 3,200.

The move has sparked a bitter spat between Athens and Vienna, with Greece fearful it would trigger a domino effect, leaving thousands stranded on its territory.

Austria has repeatedly accused Greece of failing to police its borders properly and allowing an excessively-high number of migrants to continue their journey northwards to western Europe.

"Europe can't be indifferent to those of our partners who don't respect their obligations," Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Saturday, referring to the border restrictions.

Last week, the EU told Austria that limiting asylum claims was "plainly incompatible" with European and international laws.

'Open the borders'

On Saturday, around 200 people held a protest outside the Austrian embassy in Athens, an AFP correspondent said.

Story continues below…

Chanting slogans like "Open the borders" and "Stop the War" in Syria, which has sent millions into exile, they demanded safe passage for refugees.

In a bid to regulate the flow of refugees until the border situation is resolved, Greek authorities are trying to house them on the islands where they land by boat from neighbouring Turkey.

On Saturday morning, another 437 people landed in Piraeus port, Athens News Agency said.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (news.austria@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Terror conspiracy suspects to be extradited
Linz High Court. Photo: www.justiz.gv.at

Austria is to hand over to France two suspected members of the same Islamic State group unit who massacred 130 people in Paris last November, officials and media reports said Wednesday.

Austrian fires blanks at asylum seekers from car
Photo: Paul Gillngwater

Two brothers in Austria may face charges after one of them leaned out the car they were both travelling in and shot at two asylum seekers walking on the pavement.

Firemen battle intense storms in Upper Austria
a.dombrowski/Creative Commons

Hundreds of firemen were out in Upper Austria last night after the region was hit by stormy and “dramatic” weather.

Baby tests negative for drugs after licking foil
Photo: OeAMTC

A baby that was flown to intensive care after licking a piece of aluminium foil thought to have LSD or cocaine on it has tested negative for drugs.

Austrians spend big on meat, leisure time...and sex toys
Photo: www.sexshopno1.at

A study of what Austrian households like to spend their money on has revealed they splash out more on sex toys than they do on professional development.

Free anti-racism tattoo offer nearly ruins Austrian artist
Facebook/Pride & Glory

Austrian tattoo artist nearly financially ruined after his offer of free anti-racism tattoos sparks hundreds of requests.

Orban calls refugees 'poison' after Kern meeting
Photo: European People's Party/Wikimedia

Hungary's right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday described the arrival of asylum seekers in Europe as "a poison", saying his country did not want or need "a single migrant".

Baby hospitalised after licking discarded drug packet
Emergency services transfering the baby to hospital. Photo: ÖAMTC

A baby is in intensive care in Austria after licking a piece of foil thought to have drugs on it while out for a walk with her parents.

Brits help to give tourism in Vienna a boost
Wien Tourismus/Christian Stemper

Vienna is going through a tourism boom at the moment after seeing significantly more tourists in the first half of this year.

Armed robber evades police capture in Vienna
LPD Wien

An armed thief who robbed a jewellers in Vienna managed to slip away and evade capture despite police surrounding a hotel he escaped into.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Don't hesitate - break the window
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Sport
Ready to watch some football? Here's how!
National
Cake rules
Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Features
Refugees need practical help
Lifestyle
All you need to know about Austrian Faschingskrapfen
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Why looking good on the ski slopes has never been easier
Lifestyle
Live in Austria? You might develop some of these weird habits
National
How 'Silent Night' rules the carol world
2,499
jobs available