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Controversy of the Day

Macedonia tear-gassed thousands of refugees at their border


refugees macedonia

Refugees in Macedonia in September 2015. (sethfrantzman/Flickr)

You may not have thought about it much recently, but that refugee crisis in Europe is still a major problem. Here's the latest, and it's intense.

Thousands of refugees stranded at the Greece-Macedonia border lost patience with their situation there and smashed open a part of a fence put up to keep refugees out. Refugees were trapped at Idomeni, Greece, and Macedonia had closed its border completely. Angry refugees broke down the razor-wire fence with a battering ram. They were promptly tear-gassed by the Macedonian police. It's not clear how many refugees managed to make their way through.

Macedonia is just above Greece:

Greece has been struggling under the onslaught of refugees and has requested emergency aid from the European Union to deal with the crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged the EU to help Greece out:

"Do you seriously believe that all the euro states that last year fought all the way to keep Greece in the eurozone--and we were the strictest--can one year later allow Greece to, in a way, plunge into chaos?"

Greek officials said around 7,000 people were at the border when it was breached. The bottleneck has seen more people smuggling and using fake passports.

Macedonia started putting up the fence last year to control the number of people entering the country. Earlier this month, they had stopped letting in Afghan migrants after reclassifying them as economic migrants and not asylum seekers. This move stressed out many Syrian and Iraqi refugees, who have been fleeing violence and poverty in their countries. This was following in the footsteps of Austria, which won't let in more than 3,200 migrants a day.

BTW, things aren't looking so great for refugees in Calais, France, either. Calais is the site of a makeshift refugee shanty town known as the Jungle--and there, police started destroying refugees' shelters. They also threw tear gas cannisters at refugees.

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Macedonia tear-gassed thousands of refugees at their border

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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