With 67 votes for and none against and abstained, the Assembly approved the need for amendments to the Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection. All 67 present MPs voted for the amendments. The law should be adopted by shortened procedure.

Voting on the law will be held at 3 pm, and until then, it should pass through parent committees.

In the explanation of the amendments, Interior Minister Mitko Chavkov stressed the need for them due to the large influx of immigrants with who Macedonia is facing, which, according to the minister, is several times increased compared to previous years.

As Chavkov said, the past days, Macedonian border services didn’t allow between 2,000 to 3,000 immigrants to cross the border and were returned to Greece, and around 25,000 people were registered close to our territory this period, who had intended to illegally enter the country.

– In the first five months of this year, the number of illegal immigrants who have entered the country has tripled compared to the same period last year. It demonstrates the seriousness of the situation. This problem did not originate from us, as a country, but in much of Greece, which is not doing enough about the situation, and there are even cases where it is turning a blind eye regarding it. It is impossible to hermetically close the border, but cooperation between the two countries on this issue, which is not yet high, is required – Chavkov said in the explanation of the amendments.

In the first five months of the year, the Ministry of Interior registered around 1,250 illegal immigrants, 1,000 of who were located in the Reception Center for Foreigners.

At the same time, the number of asylum applications increased several times compared to previous years.

With the proposed amendments to the Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection, “a foreigner is allowed to express intention to a police officer of MOI at the border crossing or on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia to apply for asylum and be sent to within 72 hours to apply for asylum before an authorized official of the Asylum Department at the Reception Center for asylum seekers.”