Chaos and desperation at the Greek-Macedonian border

Tensions are rising in Idomeni with more than 7000 refugees – mainly from Syria and Iraq – trapped between Greece and Macedonia. When refugees hurled stones and broke a fence, police fired tear gas.

There are no longer words to describe the atmosphere in Idomeni – a small village of less than 150 people perched on the Greek-Macedonian border – other than desperation, tension, anger, chaos.

“What is going to happen to us? I cry every day; I have a wife and my baby is sick,” says Mohammed who has been stranded at the borders for eight weeks. “My number is 65, I am next but how long are we going to wait?” he continues.

Although it was announced that 500 people will cross daily, on Saturday, less than 220 were accepted, on Sunday 305, and on Monday just 50. People are fed up and this has already started to show. On Saturday, the first protests started, but they were calm and peaceful. The first demonstration was planned for 10:30 in the morning, but as the people dispersed, they already started to prepare for the next one scheduled for noon.

“We don’t want food, we don’t want money, we want to go. Look at me! I have no clothes, I have not showered. Why?” said Reem, a passionate Syrian woman who was on the frontline of the protest.

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