Some 10,000 weather-exposed, damp and cold migrants are bogged down in a growing and often roofless tent city in a field on the Greece-Macedonia border. Having weathered a soaking rain overnight earlier this week, the migrants - with many coughing children and damp clothing, are being impeded from going farther into Europe because of closed or restricted borders.
Austria has slowed its processing of asylum seekers on its southern border with Slovenia to no more than 80-a-day. Macedonia has deployed riot police with tear gas and stun grenades to push back against the migrants crossing the border from Greece. Yet, the rate of migrants arriving on the Greek isles from Turkey amount to 2,000 a-day in spite of NATO patrols on the seas.
Hence, Greece has become the holding state for tens of thousands of migrants trying to reach farther into Europe. Human Rights Watch, a New York-based humanitarian group has blamed "discriminatory birder closures" and the cap imposed by Austria for the migrant crisis, according to a report by the Associated Press(AP). "Trapping asylum seekers in Greece is an unconscionable and short-sighted non-solution that is causing suffering and violence," remarked Human Rights Watch's Greece specialist, Eva Cosse. She added: 'It demonstrates once gain the EU's utter failure to respond collectively and compassionately to refugee flows."
A statement by the United Nations Refugee agency(UNHCR) has blamed inconsistent European policies of "causing unnecessary suffering and risk being at variance with EU and international law standards."
Yet, classes of migrants remain bogged down in the cold in the fields of Greece blocked from venturing into Macedonia and farther into Europe as Austria's chancellor Werner Faymann declares: Austria is not a waiting room for Germany...Austrians have to be active on their borders."
Europe's humanitarian spirit, cooperativeness and responsibility will continue to tested until a sustainable solution is found to the migrant crisis and to conflicts in the Levant and North Africa.