Tuesday 6 December 2016

Greece hopes to clear migrants from Macedonia border camp

Published 11/03/2016 | 10:01

A migrant mother holds her child at the northern Greek border station of Idomeni (AP)
A migrant mother holds her child at the northern Greek border station of Idomeni (AP)

Authorities in Greece are hoping that an overcrowded refugee camp on the border with Macedonia can be emptied within two weeks, as people are slowly persuaded to move to nearby government-built shelters.

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Nikos Toskas, a deputy minister for public order, ruled out using force to move the 14,000 people camped out near the village of Idomeni in increasingly desperate conditions.

"We have to persuade them (to move) and we can't do that using tear gas. Half the people there are women and children," Mr Toskas told private Mega television on Friday.

Authorities say about 800 people have agreed to leave the camp so far, but more are arriving daily.

Macedonia closed its borders to all migrants and refugees this week after several Balkan countries and Austria began imposing restrictions in February.

Press Association

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