• 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
Paid social work 'should help asylum seekers integrate'
Refugees arriving on boats in the Mediterranean. UNHCR/Archilleas Zavallis

Refugee experts from Austria’s nine states are meeting in Graz today, to discuss how to provide asylum seekers with employment and opportunities for integration through community work.

Man hit by tram during fight between Chechens and Turks
Photo: Wiener Linien/Zinner

A man was seriously injured after being hit by a tram during a mass brawl between a group of Chechens and Turks in Vienna.

Neo-Nazi crimes on the rise in Austria
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Neo-Nazi crimes are on the rise in Austria - particularly in the states of Tyrol and Upper Austria.

Op ed
Life as a new expat in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Anastasia Gromontova is a student recently arrived from Ukraine. She writes about her experience as an expat in Vienna in her first year.

Second MERS case reported in Austria
Photo: JJRON/Wikimedia

According to a report from the WHO, a second case of the Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection (MERS-CoV) has now been reported in Austria.

Fire chief in Lower Austria confirmed as arsonist
Photo: Wolfsbach Feuerkommandant

The fire chief of Wolfsbach in Lower Austria has admitted to starting seven separate fires that amounted to €80,000 in damages.

Woman found stabbed to death in Vienna's Favoriten district
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 53-year-old woman was found stabbed to death with a kitchen knife early on Tuesday morning in Vienna’s Favoriten district.

Immigration to cause massive increase in benefit costs
Austria saw a record 90,000 people apply for asylum last year. Photo: UNHCR

A new study suggests that social welfare is under pressure in Austria because of the influx of migrants over the last year.

Dominatrix convicted for customer's strangulation death
Photo: Hadron137/Wikimedia

An Austrian prostitute was convicted Monday over the death of a sadomasochist client left to die with a noose and a shoelace around his neck in a Vienna hotel room.

Dominatrix in court after deadly sex game claims a life
Image: Mulher Gotica 2/Wikimedia

A prostitute is on trial accused of causing intentional serious bodily harm resulting in death, after a 45-year-old client of hers was found hanging in a hotel room.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Those surprising Austrians!
National
100 years since the last emperor's death
National
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Lifestyle
Have fun in September!
National
Der you learn Deutsch?
Culture
Delighted by the light
National
Beware these passport scams
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
2,476
jobs available