23:39 GMT04 August 2020
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Austria did not invite Greece to the Balkan refugee conference in Vienna because Athens has shown no interest in curbing the refugee influx, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Foreign and interior ministers from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia met for the "Managing Migration Together" conference in Vienna earlier on Wednesday. Greece was not invited to the meeting, which prompted Athens to issue a note of protest to the Austrian ambassador to the country on Tuesday.

    Greece demonstrates no interest in decreasing the number of refugees passing through its territory, Kurz said, as cited by the Macedonian Independent.mk news portal. The foreign minister reportedly added that Athens wants to continue letting migrants cross to Macedonia on the way into more prosperous European countries.

    Participants in the Vienna conference were expected to discuss border control, the fight against human smugglers and information exchange. They reportedly plan to work out a joint position ahead of the EU interior ministers' meeting on Thursday.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty. Many of them take the West Balkan route, which crosses Greece, using the county as an entry-point to the bloc from which they travel to wealthier EU states where they intend to apply for asylum.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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