News from Anti-Racist Front Without Borders, gathered by the activists from the borderzones:
Idomeni, Greece (Greek-Macedonian border):
Today, as yesterday, only Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis are allowed to pass, everyone else is halted.
Despair has started to spread among the people gathered there. Some have been in Eidomeni for four days. The food is not enough and the weather is getting really cold… This morning at least 6 people were transferred for medical care (on stretchers).
Currently there are around 1,500 people who are not allowed to pass. They remain in the camp, hanging around the borders area and in the village of #Eidomeni (local residents already started getting nervous). A large number of the people not allowed to pass remain near the borderline, mainly Iranians and Moroccans, shouting slogans and holding placards.
Rep. of #Macedonia intensified border surveillance, with more army and water cannons. At some point this morning there was some tension and immediately 2 more trucks with soldiers arrived – the once already there wore their bullet proof vest to intimidate the migrants. In any case, they seem ready to handle any tension, which in fact sooner or later will come.
About the future:
After todays visit of the Greek minister for migration, the following information was leaked:
– E.U. will harden its’ attitude further. The borders are closed definitively for all nationalities besides the 3 mentioned above (Iraqis, Afghans and Syrians).
– Those without passes will be transferred to #Athens, as Thessaloniki and other northern Greece cities are not suitable (they are too close to the border and this would leave migrants with a hope that they will finally pass).
– Three camps are prepared in Athens: a football stadium in the neighborhood of Galatsi, the Olympic Games Tae Kwon Do stadium and warehouses at the former airport of Hellinikon. Those wishing to return to Athens will be transported by bus.
– Most important, at some (unspecified) time the borders will close completely for 7 days to stop immigrants flows altogether. At some point, the borders will close permanently for Afghan nationals too – it is not clear if it will happen before or after the 7-day temporary closing of the border.
– The border will remain open for the two nationalities (Syrians and Iraqis) for some time after the seven-day temporary shutdown, but in the end the border will close for them too.