Idomeni camp slowly depletes as Greece relocates stranded migrants

The population in the makeshift refugee and migrant camp at Idomeni dropped further Wednesday as authorities relocated people to organized facilities elsewhere in Greece.

More than 2,600 migrants have been bussed away from the camp over the past two days, reported state broadcaster ERT, which is the only media that has been allowed to approach the site.

The camp is located near a fence marking the border with Macedonia, and is situated about a kilometre west of the Athens-Skopje highway.

The evacuation is expected to take several more days.

Police have not forcibly remove anyone, but among the 6,000 people still at the camp, there may be a "hardcore group" that will refuse to leave, internet portal speculated. 

It is people from the group, mostly young North Africans, who rioted and blocked the railroad track running through the camp on several occasions over the past three months, it said.

Camp Idomeni was set up by the UN refugee agency in September, at the peak of the migration wave, to help people trekking along the Balkan route to wealthier northern Europe.

It initially comprised a group of large tents for around 2,000 people staying short-term, as well as medical and legal services.

The population grew rapidly in late 2015 and the conditions turned squalid as Macedonia and other countries began imposing restrictions on migrants entering their territory.

At the time the Balkan route was severed in March on the Macedonia-Greece border, around 12,000 people lived in the camp.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

More from Europe

British government to table Brexit bill after losing court appeal

The British government said it will table a "straightforward bill" allowing parliament to vote on triggering formal...

Ex-EU Parliament chief Schulz to challenge Merkel in German elections

Former EU Parliament president Martin Schulz is set to lead Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) into battle against...

EP Foreign Affairs Committee warns of rising tensions in W. Balkans

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday expressed concern over rising tensions and incendiary...

Gabriel set to become German foreign minister

Social Democrat chief Sigmar Gabriel is set to become Germany's foreign minister after deciding against standing as...

Gabriel proposes Schulz as the centre-left SPD's challenger to Merkel

German Social Democrat (SPD) chief Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday he will not lead his centre-left party's challenge to...