Macedonia Extends Closure of Border To End of 2016


The Macedonia government announced its parliament has extended the closure of its borders with Serbia and Greece until the end of 2016.

Macedonia’s state of emergency gives the military the right to deploy on the borders to help prevent illegal crossings.

In November the Macedonian army erected a metal fence about 20 kilometers long on the border with Greece to stop illegal crossings of undocumented immigrants.

“The (government) decision has the support of parliament, because we are in a situation of great crisis. The police and army have done well so far and we must give the legal possibility to continue doing so,” said Vlatko Gjorchev, deputy of the conservative ruling party VMRO-DPMNE during a debate.

The state of emergency was proclaimed in August 2015 at the start of the influx of refugees.

Following the attacks in Brussels last week, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said that he has in recent months warned the European Union (EU) that many jihadists have used the Balkan route to enter Europe.

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