SYRIAN GIRL BORN AT REFUGEE CAMP AT GREECE-FYROM BORDER AS EVACUATION GETS UNDERWAY
ATHENS, Greece, Mar 27 – A 24-year-old Syrian, gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday, in a tent at the muddy makeshift refugee camp in Greece.
According to Greek authorities, the baby was born at the Idomeni border crossing, between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as hundreds of people were gradually evacuating the area and the influx from Turkey was slowing.
The mother, who left Kobani with her two older daughters fleeing the war, was assisted by volunteers of the Doctors Without Borders and was later transferred to a local hospital with the newborn, Greek news agency AMNA reported.
The baby’s birth spread smiles to the gloomy camp, where some 11,600 people remained, according to the latest official count, released on Saturday by the Greek government.
A total of 50,000 refugees and migrants have been stranded across Greece over the past month, due to border closures in the Balkans, according to the official estimates.
Most people who had reached Idomeni have been reluctant to leave, despite the poor conditions in the camp, in the hope that the borders will reopen soon, so they can continue their journey to central and northern Europe.
However, an increasing number of refugees this week seems to be realising that, this will not happen and accept to be bused to organised hospitality centres in northern Greece.
Some 600 people agreed to be transferred from Idomeni on Friday evening, and throughout Saturday, according to Greek authorities.
Greek Migration Policy Minister, Yanis Mouzalas, and other state officials have expressed confidence that, all refugees and migrants will be eventually convinced to move to organised shelters, to be offered the proper assistance in coming weeks.
People at the sprawling tent city of Idomeni are supported by NGOs.
Several Greeks have opened their homes and their hearts to assist refugees over the past year, as more than a million people have landed in Greece.
Nevertheless, there have also been reported cases of xenophobic reactions, to the creation of refugee centres.
A few dozen residents of Veria town, in northern Greece, protested the transfer of refugees in an old military base in the area. During the demonstration, two pig heads were thrown, as buses were transferring the refugees.
On the other hand, several locals visited the old military camp throughout Saturday to offer food, blankets, toys and medicines to the people in need.
Meanwhile, in a promising sign, regarding the influx of refugees from Turkey, according to the official data released by Greek authorities, in the past three days the numbers of arrivals have been slowing.
Greek officials attribute the reduction mainly to the bad weather conditions in the Aegean this week, retaining doubts whether the Turkish side is meeting its pledges, to curb the influx under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect last Sunday.
According to Athens’ statistics, some 2,500 people had reached Greece’s islands by Thursday. The flow was reduced to about 250 in the past three days. On Saturday, only 80 people arrived in Greece from Turkey, according to the Greek Coast Guard