Greek villagers stone migrant buses

Migrants sit inside a bus at the toll stations of Malgara, near Thessaloniki. Protesting local residents in northern Greece set up roadblocks to try and prevent migrants from settling in the area. (AP Photo)
Updated 24 October 2019

Greek villagers stone migrant buses

  • Despite a police presence, nine buses taking families and vulnerable migrants to hotels in Nea Vrasna were forced to turn back as dozens of villagers blocked the road and hurled stones
  • The migrants were finally taken to hotels on the island of Euboea, 400 kilometers to the south

ATHENS: The International Organization for Migration voiced concern Thursday following an attack in northern Greece on migrant buses carrying 380 people in what the IOM said was an isolated incident.
Despite a police presence, nine buses taking families and vulnerable migrants to hotels in Nea Vrasna were forced to turn back as dozens of villagers blocked the road, hurled stones and chanted “close the border” and “throw out illegal migrants,” according to images broadcast by public television Ert.
The migrants were finally taken to hotels on the island of Euboea, 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the south.
An IOM statement expressed concern “about the violent incidents that took place in the area of Vrasna,” which it termed “an isolated incident.”
The IOM urged government and non-government groups “to work together in order to prevent” similar situations from recurring.
Greece has once again become the main point of entry for people seeking asylum in Europe, posing a challenge for the conservative government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis that took over in July.
It wants to create 20,000 places for migrants who are saturating small Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
Local officials have begun to push back against the government’s plans however, with the town of Penteli in the northern outskirts of Athens refusing to take in a group of unaccompanied minors.
People who support the migrants have launched a leaflet campaign, and red paint was splattered on the Penteli town hall early Thursday, Greek media reported.


Thailand reports 103 new coronavirus and 4 new deaths; total cases at 1,978

Updated 03 April 2020

Thailand reports 103 new coronavirus and 4 new deaths; total cases at 1,978

  • Three new deaths ages between 72 and 84 were connected to a crowded boxing match that saw a large number of infections

BANGKOK: Thailand on Friday reported 103 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths, bringing its total number cases to 1,978, a health official said.
There were four new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 19, said a spokesman for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, Taweesin Wisanuyothin.
The new deaths were all Thai males, including a 59-year-old who worked on a train.
Three new deaths ages between 72 and 84 were connected to a crowded boxing match that saw a large number of infections.