MACEDONIA is building a 10ft-high razor-wire fence along its border with Greece with EU help to try to stop hundreds of thousands of migrants travelling through the Balkans into Europe.
News of the move came as authorities in the German city of Cologne said the majority of people suspected of carrying out mass sex attacks on New Year’s Eve were illegal immigrants and asylum seekers. Police said 379 offences had been committed, 150 of them sexual assaults.
Armed border guards from six of the European Union’s eastern members are helping Macedonia, a non-EU member, to shore up its frontier against Greece, a member not just of the EU but also of its borderless Schengen zone.
The fence, due to be completed within the next few weeks, is modelled on one erected by Hungary on its own southern border in August.
Macedonian police have used stun grenades and teargas to hold back migrants as work began on a new border fence. Tensions have been building over new entry restrictions for those not traveling from conflict “hotspots.”
Several angry violent migrants surged towards police lines at the Gevgelija crossing point and began throwing stones, the Interior Ministry reported.
Eighteen police officers were injured, and two of them were hospitalized, after violence broke out on Saturday at Macedonia’s southern border with Greece, officials said.
Clashes erupted after a 32-year-old Moroccan migrant was electrocuted and suffered severe burns when he touched a high-voltage cable on the Greek side of the border.