Another similarity with Eidomeni is that the taxi drivers in Macedonia try to make money out of the situation. To reach this they blocked the railway tracks temporaily, so that the trains couldn’t run and the border was closed. According to other reports the taxi drivers charge 25€ from persons with papers from Syria, Afghanistan or the Iraq for the ride from Gevgelia to Tabanovce. For people who crossed the border anywhere else it costs a lot more, the taxi drivers charge a minimum of 80€. Even if they pay the price, that doesn’t mean that they arrive safely at the Serbian border. People told us that many times refugees paid for the ride and got robbed and thrown out on the streets or in the woods. Another method is to let the refugees pay the price and then hand them over to the cops. The cops lock them up or deport them straight back. Die situation in Macedonia is especially for ‘illegalized’ refugees extremly dangerous. Becuase they are not allowed to legally take the train, they have to walk along the streets or the railway tracks. There it is not unusual that they have to suffer attacks by cops, taxi drivers or mafia.
Different activists and volunteers came together in the social centre in Skopje. From there they coordinate the tasks and work. Among other things an emergency phone (0030 694 36 20 206) for refugges is under developement these days. This emergency phone can be called by refugees or their supporters if they need help. These activists also distribute clothes, food and medical help to all the people among the streets and the railway tracks. The German activists work together with locals from Macedonia. Currently they try to build a solid network to ensure a organised and constant work. Therefor support is always in need. In a call (
Beside this report based on the activist’s statements we try to find out more about the situation in the next days and report about that on our blog. Our deligation will spread: One group goes to Skopje (capital of Macedonia) and tries to talk to activists and locals in Skopje. Please share this call and the number of the emergency phone.