Muslim migrants along Macedonia’s border shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as they used an improvised battering ram to force their way into the country from Greece.
Roughly 7,000 migrants trapped inside the village of Idomeni rioted on Monday. Street poles turned into battering rams helped hundreds storm the border. Authorities then used tear gas to push back rock-throwing men.
Macedonia began closing off its border in January in an attempt to gain some semblance of control over Europe’s migrant crisis. Many of the migrants are seeking asylum in Germany, which accepted more than 1 million in 2015.
Greece fears that within days it may have 70,000 new migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.
“We will not accept turning the country into a permanent warehouse of souls with Europe continuing to function as if nothing is happening,” Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, told parliament Feb. 24. “Greece will not agree to [EU] deals if a mandatory allocation of burdens and responsibilities among member countries is not secured.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel did little to discourage more migrants from flocking to Greece, saying she rejected a limit on the number of individuals who should be allowed into her nation.
“There are many conflicting interests in Europe,” she told state broadcaster ARD on Monday, Reuters. “But it is my damn duty to do everything I can so that Europe finds a collective way.”
Hans Peter Doskozil, Austria’s defense minister, dared Merkel to stand by her words on Monday.
“The German chancellor … said that formally there is no upper limit in Germany. Then, I would invite her to take the people, who arrive in Greece now and whom she wants to take care of, directly to Germany,” Doskozil told Austrian’s Oe1 radio.
Merkel’s continued support for accepting new migrants comes less than one month since Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, BfV, said the Islamic State group “slipped in” last year.
“We have repeatedly seen that terrorists … have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees. This is a fact that the security agencies are facing,” BfV head Hans-Georg Maassentold told ZDF television on Feb 5. “We are trying to recognize and identify whether there are still more ISIS fighters or terrorists from ISIS that have slipped in.”
German police have also been overrun with crimes linked to migrants, including a slew of sexual assaults that took place on New Year’s Eve. Over 100 women were victimized in Cologne, Bielefeld, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart.