Interview of MFA Nikola Poposki for Associated Press

Date: 3 March 2016

Journalist: Konstantin Testorides

 

poposki AP

Comment of MFA Poposki for the current situation with the migrants at the Macedonian-Greek border

We have few thousands of migrants that are right now at the Macedonian- Greek border. We are waiting for the numbers of migrants that can be received at the final destination countries in Western Europe and this is going to determine the daily quotas of migrants allowed to enter Macedonian territory. Essentially, we are in a situation where more and more migrants are arriving at Greek territory and the registration must be done at our border and determine which are eligible asylum seekers and can proceed with the route.

Comment of MFA Poposki for the cooperation with Greece on the migration issue

We will need their cooperation in order to avoid any dramatic evolution on the ground. From the other side, in order to provide human and save treatment it’s better to host migrants at the reception centers rather than putting them in tents few hundred meters from the Macedonian border. This is really not a solution. It might help creating a pressure and a sense of urgency, but if we really care about these people, they should be hosted at the reception centers that can host such large numbers of people. I mean, we are talking about several thousand for now.

Comment of MFA Poposki for the border management

Our interest is not to close the border with Greece. We have clearly quite a lot of converging interests. It’s our neighbor. The last thing we like to see is a big mass happening across the border in Greece. From the other side, it is clear that the concept that was present during the last year, which was, as you described “open borders” has its limits. It is clear that the absorption capacities of migrants in mainly receiving EU member states such as Germany, Austria, Sweden and others has reached certain threshold where it cannot continue in the next year with the same pace. Therefore, I think it is pretty much unavoidable that there will be stricter border controls.