*MIGRANTS SEEKING TO CROSS INTO BALKANS MARCH ALONG MAIN MOTORWAY CLOSE TO LARISA, REFUSE TO ACCEPT BORDERS ARE CLOSING
*THOUSANDS STRANDED ALONG MOTOWAY WITHOUT SHELTER OR FOOD CLOSE TO LARISA AND VOLOS
*LARISA LABOUR CENTRE STARTS TO COLLECT FOOD DONATIONS FOR MIGRANTS STRANDED AT ROADBLOCK AT TEMPI
*LARISA DOCTORS AND NURSES VOLUNTEER SERVICES, MEDICINE
*MAYOR CLOSE TO VOLOS COMPLAINS HE WAS GIVEN NO WARNING AS 550 MIGRANTS STRANED IN CAR PARK NEED SHELTER AND FOOD
*NO SIGN OF HELP FROM THE BISHOP OF VOLOS
*LOCAL PARTNERS IN GREECE BEST FOR EU COUNTRIES WANTING TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY HELP TO MIGRANTS
*AUSTRIA CAN SHOW FRIENDSHIP TO GREEK PEOPLE BY HELPING ORGANIZATIONS ON THE GROUND LIKE THE LARISA LABOUR CENTRE, HOSPITAL AND PAME
*NEW ESCALATION IN SEAMEN’S STRIKE WILL STOP SHIPS, LEAVE MIGRANTS ON AEGEAN ISLANDS
*TSIPRAS RECALLS GREEK AMBASSADOR TO AUSTRIA, ATTEMPTS TO BLACKMAIL AUSTRIA INTO ACCEPTING TSIPRAS’ DANGEROUS OPEN DOORS POLICIES
*ALBANIA BECOMES NEW MIGRANT ROUTE NORTH
The Labour Centre in Greece has started to receive food donations for migrants trapped at roadblocks on the motorway at Tempi as the Balkan countries close their borders and thousands of migrants find themselves stranded in Greece.
In the absence of any plan from Alexis Tsipras and his government to help them, local people and authorities have started to organize a food drive for migrants. And these organizations might be the best partners for European countries seeking to avoid a humanitarian crisis as I found out from a visit to the Labour Centre today.
A picture of supplies piling up in the hallway of the Labour Centre with a Pame party poster in the background.
Local people, including students, are coming and depositing bags of food and bottles of water at the Labour centre.
A very impressive level of commitment from the volunteers and staff doing their best to improvise help.
Boxes of canned peaches are also waiting in a large stack.
Doctors and nurses from Larisa hospital have gone to Tempi to distribute medicines.
The head of the Labour Centre who is in charge of the food drive told me he did not know many migrants were camping at the roadblock Tempi, but it was lots of people.
Buses were continuously arriving to take some to Idomeni or Athens but other buses and migrants were arriving, he said.
Migrants seeking to cross into the Balkans have been setting off in chaotic marches along the country’s main motorway, the E75, which runs close to Larisa, unaware or unable to believe the border at Idomeni has now been more or less closed.
Farmers have established a roadblock at Tempi to protest plans by Alexis Tsipras to impose crushing new taxes and social security hikes.
At Almyros close to Volos, five hundred people have been stranded.
Mayor Dimitris Almyrou Eseridis expressed anger that he had not been told by anyone to make the preparations to feed and shelter hundreds of migrants.
In a separate development, seamen have said they will include ships carrying migrants from the Greek islands to the mainland in their next wave of strikes.
After visiting the Larisa Labour Centre this morning, I really think EU countries should consider helping local authorities and organizations like this to provide tents and food for migrants, who are stranded in Greece without any help from the Tsipras government.
Instead of liaising with the truly criminal government of Tsipras to provide help for stranded migrants, they can liaise with local authorities and organizations and parties like PAME, especially in locations along the main transit or motorway routes and on the Aegean islands, to set up emergency care facilities until NATO or the Greek navy close the country’s borders.
It would be a welcome gesture from governments like Austria if they were to contact the local labour centres and hospitals in places like Larisaand offer supplies to help them provide emergency care to migrants who have been stranded in the region.
Instead of lots of bureaucracy, officials from Austria, for example, could pick up the phone, ring Labour centres and hospitals in hotspots on the mainland and islands, ask them what they need, and, then, send embassy or other staff to ground zero to help with purchase and delivery of necessary food and other items.
Help from Austria for local organizations would defuse the tension between the countries which Tsipras is escalating by withdrawing the ambassador to Austria. Good riddance. The more isolated Tsipras’ government is internationally, the better!
Meanwhile, as the migrant route changes, Europe needs plans to better seal off Albania.
Afghan migrants are reportedly paying thousands of euros to be taken by car from Greece through Albania to northern Europe as new routes open up.