Migrants planning border push clash with police in Greece


DIAVATA, Greece (AP) — Clashes broke out Thursday between migrants and Greek police outside a camp in northern Greece, where hundreds gathered in the hope of reviving a route that saw hundreds of thousands enter more prosperous countries in Europe.

In the wake of anonymous calls on social media for a long trek through heavily guarded Balkan borders, police said more than 500 people, including families with small children, assembled in a cornfield outside the Diavata migrant camp, which is around 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of the city of Thessaloniki.

Some set up tents as dozens more approached on foot.

Later, about 200 clashed with riot police after trying to break through a cordon. They threw stones at police who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

No injuries or arrests were reported.

Eric Trump Schools Judge Who Says His Father Inflated Value of Mar-a-Lago: 'Laughing at This Foolishness'

Migrants, most of whom have already requested asylum in Greece, said they planned to go to the fenced-off border with North Macedonia 60 kilometers (38 miles) away and try to push through. In early 2016, a similar route was firmly shut down after more than a million people flowed through Greece and the Balkans to Germany and other countries.

The United Nations refugee agency has denounced the social media calls, stressing that irregular border crossings are “risky and dangerous.”

In a statement warning of “false information and social media rumors,” UNHCR said it does not encourage or support “irregular movements,” and noted that states have the right to manage their borders.

“In addition to potential unwanted legal consequences, participants in these movements may end up in dire humanitarian conditions, including being left without adequate shelter, food and other basic services,” UNHCR said. “Please do not endanger your lives and the lives of your family members and children.”

But people gathering outside the congested Diavata camp said they would try their luck at the border.

“We face very many problems in Greece,” Iraqi Kurd Darya Wus, 35, told The Associated Press. “They give us very little money. We have no future (in Greece). My asylum hearing has been set for 2021.”

He said migrants would try to get through the border with North Macedonia, despite likely opposition by police in both countries.

“We will try to talk them into letting us go on to Europe,” he said.

Sajjad Hamid, 27, an Iraqi from Baghdad who has been in Greece for 15 months after entering illegally from Turkey, was planning to spend the night in a tent with his four young children. They had travelled north by bus from the central town of Halkida, where they lived in a hotel room provided by an NGO.

Mother Has Message for Soros-Funded DA Going Easy on Her Son's Alleged Killer

“We refugees are tired,” he said. “We want to leave. There is nothing for us to do here.”

More than 70,000 asylum-seekers have been trapped in Greece since the 2016 border closures and a deal between the European Union and Turkey intended to stem migration flows.


Follow Kantouris at

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City