Monday, 18 December 2017 | News today: 14

President Ivanov and Minister Chavkov discuss migrant crisis

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President Gjorge Ivanov and Interior Minister Mitko Chavkov held Thursday a meeting, organized after conclusions were reached at a recent EU summit in Brussels, to discuss the measures and activities taken in an effort to prevent and cope with the influx of illegal migrants in the regions where state of emergency has been declared, and their movement across the territory of Macedonia.

It was concluded that all stakeholders partaking in the crisis management system were functioning with heightened activities and were facing a lack of capacities, i.e. funds, staff and equipment, as well as vehicles, the President’s Cabinet said in a press release.

Chavkov said the Interior Ministry had asked the EU for financial aid and assistance in order to improve its prevention system and strengthen the necessary capacities.

“The Republic of Macedonia, being a transit country on the Balkan migration corridor, is tackling the consequences of the behavior of EU member countries. One member country using organized institutional capacities is sending the migrants towards our southern border, while other member countries are hindering their movement towards their final destination in the Union,” read the press release citing Minister Chavkov.

He added that the Balkan migration corridor had been interrupted several times in the past couple of weeks. The Interior Ministry estimates that 6,000-­7,000 foreign nationals enter the country on daily basis as the surge of migrants in the coming months is expected to rise, according to analysts.

Police forces backed by army units will have to work in an utterly complex environment, the Cabinet stated in the press release.

“If the corridor is interrupted and borders are shut down, and also depending on weather conditions, Macedonia will be forced to implement plans with an adequate response so as to protect its national security,” the Interior Minister noted.

In the coming period, he added, the Interior Ministry will be faced with an additional challenge within its jurisdiction as part of the public and state security system when it is due to be tasked with using its capacities to secure the election process and voting places across Macedonia.

Furthermore, President Ivanov urged programs to be prepared aimed at raising public awareness on the threats and risks arising from illegal migration.