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FYRoM’s Ivanov: We want a European solution to refugee crisis; Greece should not assume burden alone

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) wants a European solution and has absolutely no interest in Greece alone assuming the burden of the ongoing refugee / migrant crisis, the president of the neighboring country, Gjorge Ivanov told visiting European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday.

The two men met in Skopje amid the increasingly acute crisis faced by Europe, and especially Greece, whose lengthy sea borders with Turkey have attracted hundreds of thousands of Mideast war refugees but also irregular migrants from as far away as Morocco and Bangladesh over the past year.

The landlocked country to Greece’s north, which sits directly on the so-called “Balkan corridor”, took steps last week to tighten border security, insisting that only Syrian and Iraqi nationals with passports and IDs will be allowed to enter its territory.

Ivanov reiterated that Skopje wants a “European solution” to the problem, while also saying his country’s will not accept unilateral solutions.

While temporary shelters, so-called “hotspots” and even a handful of central Athens squares have filled with third country nationals that entered via Turkey, more would-be asylum seekers and migrants were ferried from Greek islands to the port of Piraeus on Thursday morning.

Nearly 1,100 were added to the hundreds camped out around the port, and the thousands on Athens’ streets.