Macedonian army set up fence along its Greek border

Macedonian soldiers have started building metal fence on country's southern border with Greece to control refugee flow into Europe

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Macedonian soldiers build up a metal fence at the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni, November 28, 2015

The Macedonian Army has begun setting up a metal fence throughout its Greek border which will be 3 km in length, in order to be able to keep track of the ongoing refugee influx into Europe on Saturday. 

For the past two weeks, countries on the refugee route including Macedonia, have started limiting the intake of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and they have began turning away Africans and Asians.

A senior Macedonian government official stated the metal fence was "just a preventive measure."

"We are not closing the border completely," the official said and added, "We will still allow the migrants from war-affected countries to pass."

Hungary in September and October closed its southern border to refugees, identifying them as a threat to Hungarian security, welfare and "Christian values" of Europe.

"The majority are not Christians but Muslims. That is an important question because Europe and European culture have Christian roots." Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban said.

Hungary has also erected a barbed wire fence to block the path of incoming refugees through its southern border with Croatia after it built a similar fence on the Serbian border.

Thousands of Syrian, Afghans and Iraqis refugees have been directing themselves towards western European countries, using a route through Greece-Macedonia-Serbia-Hungary-Austria, from east to west, forcing the 28-member bloc to face its worst refugee crisis in decades.

According to the figures given by the UN for 2015, nearly 800,000 people in total were able to cross the Mediterranean and reach European countries and 20 percent of refugees who arrived in Europe were children.

Six percent of arrivals were from Iraq, 18 percent were from Afghanistan and more than half of the arrivals were from Syria - where a civil war has killed more than 300,000 and forced 10.6 million people to flee the country since 2011.

At least 3,400 refugees have drowned while attempting to cross into Europe this year.


TRTWorld and agencies