New 1,000-Bed U.N. Refugee Camp on Greece Border with Macedonia


The U.N. refugee agency on Thursday opens a new 1,000-bed camp, equipped with rows of toilets and showers, wifi and chargers, on the Greece-Macedonia border for thousands of people on the move from the Aegean to western Europe.

The makeshift stopover facilities near the small town of Idomeni in northern Greece aim to offer temporary shelter and facilities including health care to the streams of refugees from war and persecution, ANA news agency said.

George Repanas of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told ANA there would be 80 toilets and showers, and medical aid as well as wifi and chargers.

"The idea is for people to take a few hours of rest before continuing on their journey," he said.

Some 5,000 people daily pass through Idomeni on the Balkans route towards prosperous western European economies, more than double the numbers a few weeks ago, police said.

Though NGOs and humanitarian workers have deployed in the area it has been difficult to provide assistance on a continuous basis in the isolated rural region.

Greece on Wednesday came in for fresh criticism from the European Commission for failing to offer sufficient material aid to refugees.

France, Germany, Italy and Hungary also received formal warnings from the Commission for breaching rules on the treatment of asylum seekers.

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