Macedonia Preparing to Build Fence at Borders to Control Migrant Flow

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | November 15, 2015, Sunday // 13:13
Bulgaria: Macedonia Preparing to Build Fence at Borders to Control Migrant Flow A group of migrants with their few belongings enter the registration and transit camp after crossing the border between Greece and Macedonia, near Gevgelija, Macedonia, 13 November 2015. EPA/BGNES

Macedonia will start immediate preparations for building a wire fence along sectors of the country’s borders to respond to a potential slowdown in the passage of migrants from Macedonia to western Europe, MIA news agency reported on Sunday.

The National Security Council with Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov has decided to order the Army to prepare to build barricades and fences “in places where needed”, the Macedonian news agency said.

Macedonia lies on the so-called Balkan route used by asylum seekers from the Middle East arriving in Greece from Turkey. Once in Greece, migrants and refugees are heading north, transiting non-EU Macedonia and Serbia en route to Hungary or Slovenia, two members of the EU’s borderless Schengen zone. From there, the asylum seekers are trying to reach wealthier countries of western and northern Europe like Germany and Sweden.

Macedonia’s National Secirity Coincil made clear that the building of barriers and fences at the country’s borders is a measure of last resort which will be enforced only if other countries “considerably restrict” the flow of migrants through Macedonia into their territory.

According to the council, the preparations for building a fence don’t mean that Macedonia is preparing to close its borders to asylum seekers, MIA said.

A fence will only aim to direct the flow of asylum seekers to the legitimate points of entry and regulate it in accordance with the number of people which Europe is ready to accept, the National Security Council said.

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Tags: macedonia, migrants, greece, Serbia, border, fence, barriers, Ivanov, europe

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