AP PHOTOS: In Greece, refugee families living life in limbo

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2016 9:51 AM
AP PHOTOS: In Greece, refugee families living life in limbo

IDOMENI, Greece (AP) — At Greece's blockaded border with Macedonia, 10,000 people who arrived hoping to start new lives farther west and north in Europe are settling instead into lives in limbo, sleeping in tents in mud and rain as they wait to find out what happens next.

They fled war and poverty in places like Syria and Iraq, took dangerous boat trips across the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece, and made it as far as the border before being stopped by a razor-wire fence that critics of European Union policy call the continent's new Iron Curtain.

The policy is meant to stop a repeat of 2015, when a million people traveled across the Mediterranean in dinghies and small boats and walked into Europe, then made their way to countries like Germany and Sweden, mostly unimpeded.

The new rules are supposed to keep refugees in Turkey until those considered to have legitimate asylum claims can be resettled in Europe in an orderly fashion. In the six weeks since it took effect, 50,000 people who were already in Greece have been trapped there. Most stay at camps built by the army at some two dozen sites around the country, where the news media has little access.

Those at Idomeni, once a little-known Greek village of 120 permanent residents, have defied government instructions to leave.

If they do, most argue, the world will forget them. Here are some portraits of people stuck at the border by Associated Press photographer Gregorio Borgia.


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