'Migrants' hit Macedonia border gate with battering ram

From MailOnline

By Jennifer Newton

Hundreds of migrants attempted to break through a fence on the Greece-Macedonia border by charging it with a home-made battering ram.

Authorities fired tear gas and stun guns as thousands of refugees congregated at the border to cross into the Balkan country in a bid to make their way across Europe.

It comes as Macedonia as well as EU members Slovenia and Croatia and Serbia imposed a daily limit of allowing just 580 migrants into the country per day.

Now it is estimated that 6,500 people are queuing at the fence near the Greek village of Idomeni waiting to be allowed to continue the trek into Europe.

But tempers have been flaring as some have been stuck for eight days with little food and today the refugees broke out into a protest chanting 'Open the border' and threw stones at the Macedonian police.

It came after 500 people earlier pushed their way past Greek police to reach the gate used to let trains through at the border crossing.

At the weekend, several hundred refugees and migrants had also protested by sitting and lying with their children on the rail tracks at Idomeni.

Some held up handwritten posters that read 'Open the borders, no food' and 'We are humans, not animals'.

They later moved towards the border fence, chanting slogans to demand to be allowed into Macedonia so they can continue their journey to elsewhere in Europe.

Macedonian authorities let just 300 migrants through on Saturday, with the bottleneck growing.

One Syrian man said: 'I'm 17 days on the road with my family and my two children. I don't know what to do.'

The build-up at the Idomeni camp, which can hold up to 1,500 people, began in earnest last week after Macedonia began refusing entry to Afghans and imposed stricter controls on Syrians and Iraqis.

The measures came on the heels of a clampdown by Austria, which lies further up the migrant trail to Germany and Scandinavia.

Austria introduced a daily cap of 80 asylum seekers and said it would allow just 3,200 migrants to transit the country per day.

The controls have had a knock-on effect in Greece, where migrants have continued to arrive en masse from neighbouring Turkey.

Tensions between European countries worst affected by the migrant crisis were still running high, with Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann accusing Greece of 'behaving like a travel agency'.

'We estimate that in our country the number of those trapped will be from 50,000-70,000 people next month,' Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said, after countries along the Balkan route introduced limits on migrant crossings.

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