Migrants, who yesterday managed to find a ‘gap’ in the Macedonian-Greece border fences and so entered Macedonian territory illegally before arriving at the village of Moin, near Gevgelija were returned to Greece, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said today to “Meta” journalists.
Approximately 1500 people were detained yesterday by Macedonian security forces. A further group, 600 to 700 people who attempted to penetrate the border and enter Macedonian territory were prevented from succeeding by police and the armed forces.
Journalists and photographers who were also arrested yesterday afternoon after illegally crossing the border alongside the refugees have also been released.
“The journalists were released after being issued with fines of 250 euros each.” said the MOI.
The penalty for illegally crossing the border is actually 500 euros, but if paid immediately, or within eight days, it amounts to half of the total.
Intensified security measures remain in effect on the southern border area following yesterday’s incident near the village of Moin. The Army, MOI and Special Police Forces are on standby in case of new attempts for further illegal border crossings. In Athens last night, the Prime Minister’s Office held an emergency cabinet meeting regarding the refugee crisis and today the European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos will visit Idomeni, accompanying him, will be Kyriakos Mitsotakis, head of the Greek Opposition party, New Democracy.
According to our information, at the urgently called Cabinet meeting, it was discussed how to respond to Macedonia’s possible request for the readmission of the refugees to Greece, and the possibility of of taking diplomatic steps in relation to Greek journalists who were detained in Macedonia yesterday. Unofficially, the Greek government will seek to pressure the Visegrad Group countries to give up on the idea of closing the Balkan Route.
The Greek government have said that they will investigate the case of the handing out of leaflets in the refugee camp written in Arabic and urging thousands of refugees to congregate and go en-masse from Idomeni and into Macedonia, this is, what is believed to have initiated the illegal crossing of the border at Moin. Featured on the leaflet there is a precise, detailed map and illustrated route drawn showing how most efficiently to move people from Idomeni to an unprotected part of the border, where they can move freely. it also points out the exact time when, and where to find it.