Syrian refugees stranded in Greece: No More Waiting!


"No more waiting!" Syrian refugees stranded in Greece chanted as they protested outside the German embassy in Athens on Wednesday against delays in reuniting with their relatives in Germany, reported reuters news agency.

Some 100 people among which some are young children, marched from the parliament to the embassy holding up cardboard banners in English reading "I want my family" and shouting slogans about travel to Germany.

According to Greek media, Greece and Germany have informally agreed to slow down refugee reunification, stranding families in Greece for months after they fled Syria's war.

About 60,000 refugees and migrants, mostly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, have been in Greece for over a year after border closures in the Balkans halted the onward journey many planned to take to Central and Western Europe.

"My message is 'enough waiting, enough suffering'," said 41-year-old Syrian Malak Rahmoun, who lives in a Greek camp with her three daughters while her husband and son are in Berlin. "I feel my heart (is) miserable," she said.

Rahmoun said she and her daughter applied for family reunification last year but that the Greek authorities have not given a clear reply, adding "I've never seen my son (in) two years.”

In the Balkans, sources report that at least 24 thousand people are believed to have made the journey along the Balkans migration trail since European leaders declared the route shut in early March.

Also, the same sources had noted that in 2016, migrants who were stranded in Greece have been crossing on foot into Macedonia as parts of the border are not fenced off. In Bulgaria, overland route to Serbia via Bulgaria has become popular since the crackdown on sea crossings from Turkey surged. Croatia crossings have been popular and Hungary’s border fence did not stop some 20 thousand migrants from arriving in 2016.