Austria urges Macedonia to stop refugee influx

Austria calls on Macedonia to stop influx of refugees across its Greek border

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Children wait in a tent as refugees and migrants wait for a train to continue their journey towards western Europe from the Macedonia-Greece border at the Vinojug Temporary Transit Centre outside the village of Gevgelija, Macedonia, February 1, 2016.

Austria urged Macedonia on Friday to be prepared to “completely stop” the influx of refugees across its southern border from Greece, Austria stated that it would do the same on its own perimeters in a matter of months.

Macedonia has constructed two lines of razor wired fences along the border at the main crossing point from Greece for refugees crossing to western Europe from the Balkan peninsula.

Austria has received 90,000 asylum requests last year and has set a limit of less than half of that number for this year.

Europe had received more than one million refugees last year and over 80,000 in the first six weeks of the year.

"Most probably in the coming months our maximum number will be reached, so Austria will have to stop the migrants at its border," Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said.

Kurz said that Macedonia must be ready to completely stop the entry of migrants on its borders.

"We know this will be a hard task and today we agreed that Austria will lend its support, not only in terms of personnel such as police and army but with equipment too,” he said.

Sebastian Kurz’s Macedonian counterpart Nikola Poposki said that Skopje would coordinate with other countries in all future steps along the refugee corridor and would “reflect the decisions taken in Germany, Austria and other European countries.”

TRTWorld, Reuters