Source : Al Jazeera 8.August 2013.
Macedonian police claims that the number of migrants in this country is constantly growing, especially in times of economic crisis in Greece.
Over Macedonia’s territory every year a thousands of migrants crosses in a search for a better life in the European Union. Many of those migrants Macedonian police arrests.
Since the temporary accommodation of migrants costs a lot , Macedonian authorities are trying to solve a people smuggling problem in cooperation with police services in neighboring countries.
On the Macedonian-Serbian border, the migrants are gathering near village of Lojane, at the place that is symbolically called “The Jungle”, where they live in the improvised conditions – they sleep on the ground, make their own bread, or buy food in the local stores.
“I want to go in Europe! I want to live in a place where I will be fine, where I’ll be integrated into society and where I can live the way I want, able to make real my dreams,” said Ali Said, a 19-year-old migrant from Senegal, who left his country two years ago.
He came in Macedonia across the Greece, where he worked some time, and now he hopes to enter illegally into Serbia and moves on, to the European Union.
And Mohammed Alami from Sudan and his new friends from Algeria are looking for a quick escape from Lojane.
Mohammed Alami explains that in Sudan there is no work for him and his final goal is the Great Britain, where he plans to finish the school for enginering.
He admits that there are smuggling networks between the countries which work together but that he had to pay 650 euros for smugglers to take him from Greece to Macedonia.
“If you’re working for a long time at home, you earn money, pay and go. Sometimes it’s tough because when you pay a man for the illegal trip, he takes money and goes forward, sometimes you can’t keep up,” complains Alami.
Migrants are coming to Lojane for three years now, over there they wait for an ideal moment to illegally cross Macedonian-Serbian border to continue their trip to European Union.
On that way they get some help from some residents of Lojane, so in a police action in mid-July 2013, six villagers were arrested by Macedonian police because the migrants were discovered in their houses.
According to data of Macedonian police department, number of migrants who illegally enter Macedonia is constantly growing, especially in a time of the great economic crisis in Greece.
Although Macedonia has an agreement with EU about the migrants, it is rarely implemented. “That would be a particularly large expense for Macedonia. Macedonia has signed an agreement with the European Union so any EU country when found illegal migrants on its territory, that coutry will deport all of those migrants who were illegally entered from Macedonia. We have a commitment to accept them back in Macedonia.” said Ivo Kotevski, a spokesman for the Macedonian police.
The Macedonian police stated that although there is an agreement with the EU, Greece is not yet ready to accept migrants who enter into Macedonia over its southern border.As the Greek-Macedonian border porous, Macedonian police doesn not see a solution to the problem of an increasing influx of migrants.