STUCK: Asylum seekers wait on Greece’s border with Macedonia.
STUCK: Asylum seekers wait on Greece’s border with Macedonia. Zoltan Balogh / AP

Closure of Balkan trail exposes divisions among EU members

DIVISIONS within the European Union over how to tackle the migrant crisis have been further exposed by the decision of Balkan countries to shut their borders to asylum seekers.

While EU President Donald Tusk used Twitter to praise the closures by Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia as a collective response of the 28 members of the bloc, German leader Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed the move.

Ahead of an EU ministers' meeting - and with about 14,000 migrants camped on his country's border with Macedonia - Mr Tsipras warned that the EU had "no future if it goes on like that".

Ms Merkel said the closures were "neither sustainable nor lasting" and put Greece in a "very difficult situation".

In an interview with public broadcaster MDR, she said closing borders was "not the solution to the entire problem", adding an agreement among the EU's 28 members was required.

The comments stand in stark contrast to those of Mr Tusk.

"I thank Western Balkan countries for implementing part of EU's comprehensive strategy to deal with migration crisis," he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Tsipras responded on Twitter that Mr Tusk should "focus efforts on implementing our common decisions and not encourage those who ignore them".


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