A refugee camp soaked in rain, sank in mud. It has been raining for the last two days and nights. More than 13,000 people, among them many children struggle for a piece of bread, a cup of hot tea, a pair of shoes, a dry t-shirt. Coughing and fever. Volunteers and non-government organizations trying to avoid the worst. The tragedy of Idomeni, with FYROM keeping its borders closed since Sunday.
Many of the tents have been destroyed by the rain.
The camp has turned into a lake of water and mud.
Two families fight against each other with wooden sticks and stone… for a piece of fruit.
People raid a truck full of fire wood.
Some children walk barefoot, other have a carton on their head to get protection from rain.
While the Greek government prepares 15 new reception centers, the refugees do not want to leave the area. They cannot believe that their dream for a better life ended up in this mud camp. they want to continue their journey.
The smugglers have reportedly found new ways to bypass the closed border gates. they demand 800 euro per person. Just to have the refugees cross to FYROM – through fields, a walking that last 8 hours. They promise to take them up to Germany.
Authorities in FYROM have reportedly arrested 50 refugees who entered the country illegally. They will be probably deported back to Greece. Many of thoese already sent back to Greece complain about abuse by the Skopje authorities.
But no hardship can stop these people. Those in Athens are unable to believe that they won’t reach their promised land. 200 refugees left the reception center in Schisto and started to walk to the borders, some 700 km away. They don’t believe those who tell them that the Balkan Route is closed.