THESSALONIKI, Greece – Thousands of refugees and migrants are stranded across Greece, including hundreds who have been waiting in buses along the country's main north-south highway for roughly two days, after Macedonia severely restricted the number of people it is allowing to cross and continue their northward journey toward more prosperous European countries.
Hundreds more continued to arrive on the Greek mainland aboard ferries from the eastern Aegean islands, which they reached in dinghies from the Turkish coast.
Refugees and migrants arriving at the main port of Piraeus would usually take buses or trains straight to Idomeni on the northern border. But the Macedonian clampdown has led to massive crowds on the border, with about 2,800 people there Thursday and only 100 allowed to cross in the morning.
Authorities said 40 buses were stopped at various points along the main highway leading north from Athens. About 200 people who had been stuck overnight on buses in central Greece, frustrated with the lack of progress, set off on foot along the highway. The group included many young children as well as at least one woman in a wheelchair.
Police attempted to stop them from walking along the highway, leading them to stage a sit-in. In an effort to resolve the situation, police in the area said buses would arrive to take them to Idomeni.