The Latest: Migrants protest on Greece-Macedonia border

AP News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2015 1:07 PM
The Latest: Migrants protest on Greece-Macedonia border

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The latest news as hundreds of thousands make their way across Europe in search of safety and a better life. All times local:

6:55 p.m.

Migrants not admitted into Macedonia because they are coming from non-combat zones have protested on the Greek side of the border for a fourth day.

But their numbers dwindled Sunday as they are likely searching for new pathways into other EU countries.

Greek police say there were 1,300 such migrants, compared to more than 2,000 on Saturday, at the border crossing at Idomeni, along with 800 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who are allowed to transit through Macedonia.

The protests have been mostly peaceful. In an incident earlier Sunday, an Iranian man threatened to cut his wrists with a razor if not allowed into Macedonia. Police intervened to disarm him, but, in the scuffle, he cut his face.

The migrants continued to block the railway link from Greece to Macedonia.

A total of 6,000 refugees crossed into Macedonia from early Saturday through early Sunday, police say.

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5:50 p.m.

Macedonia's president has sharply criticized the European Union for a lack of financial support and data sharing on migration, adding that tensions are growing in the country over the refugee crisis.

Gjorgje Ivanov told reporters Sunday that "we are facing a shortage of material, human and technical capacity to respond to threats and risks to national security."

Ivanov, speaking after meeting with visiting European Council president Donald Tusk, also said "the risk of possible conflict between refugees and migrants, the migrants and police and army, and between migrants and local people is rated as high."

Ivanov said that Macedonia has the capacity to shelter about 2,000 people in its temporary transit centers.

He said that "any increase in these numbers will increase permanent and direct threats and risks for the national security of Macedonia."

About 500,000 refugees have transited through Macedonia in 2015.