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Border fence helps calm down furious and aggressive economic migrants.

The situation on Macedonia's border with Greece was peaceful Sunday. There were fewer members of the Macedonian army but now there is a fence that makes it more difficult for the economic migrants to throw stones at Macedonia's army and police. Water cannons were also brought Sunday to be used in case migrants attack Macedonia's security force again, Dnevnik reports Monday.

The fence stretches 2 km to the east and 2 km to the west of the railroad where economic migrants are protesting. According to the police and army, the putting up of the fence will continue until it extends 40 km along the border with Greece. They say the fence is erected only to control better the flow of refugees on their way to the EU.

Considering Europe is not willing to take in migrants from such countries as Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc, these have been stuck on Greek territory, at the Gevgelija border crossing, for ten days now. However, they are getting more aggressive considering Macedonia, too, applied the measure of letting only refugees from war-zone countries, specifically Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, pass through.

Macedonia started separating refugees from economic migrants about ten days ago when several EU member states at Brussels' recommendation decided to bar their borders to economic migrants. This decision infuriated them and about 1,500 of them attacked the Macedonian police from the territory of Greece, that is to say from the territory of an EU member state.

The incident was triggered when a migrant from Morocco jumped onto the roof of a train standing at the station in Idomeni, Greece, and got hit by an electrical charge when he touched the high-voltage cables but luckily survived the burns.

At first, migrants peacefully protested angered by the Moroccan's alleged attempt at committing suicide. But then came the shower of stones.

"At first, there were about a hundred of them standing behind the fence on the railroad and yelling something. Then they retreated and all of sudden they charged at us with a cannonade of stones. We reacted swiftly but they injured several of us. We are only doing our job and are truly very tolerant with them. We too feel sorry at the sight of children but this is not our decision. There are also migrants who are very vulgar and violent, provoking us all the time with curses and gestures," a police officer who was seriously injured Saturday told reporters.

Twenty-four Macedonian soldiers and police officers were injured in the incident, four of whom are still in hospital. Those who suffered minor injuries refused to leave. They said they'd rather stay to help their colleagues.

After the incident, several migrants remained at the railroad repeating "Open the Border!" for hours. They said they refused to leave and didn't understand why Europe didn't want them.

"Can you help us?" We don't want to stand here and make problems. I understand this is not the Macedonian police's fault but we lost it when the incident with the Moroccan occurred. We've been standing here for days on end in the cold and rain. The Moroccan survived but he was all burnt from his waist up. That infuriated the rest of the migrants that feel helpless and don't know what to do to cross the border. They organized themselves, and started hurling stones at the police. I am sorry that happened," a migrant told Dnevnik.

Although they are on Greek territory, the Greek police appear disinterested in what the migrants do. Those with proper documents pass the police control toward the transit center without any problems whatsoever. Around 3,000 refugees, mostly families with children, boarded the train for Serbia Sunday.
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Title Annotation:MIC NEWS
Publication:INFOMAC Daily News Service
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:Nov 30, 2015
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