02:46 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Refugees and migrants sleep on the railway tracks close to the borders of Greece with Macedonia, near the village of Idomeni, September 6, 2015

    'We Pay for EU Mistakes': Macedonia Accuses EU of 'Careless Attitude'

    © REUTERS / Alexandros Avramidis
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    In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov accused the EU of having a ‘careless attitude' in regards to his country, which has not received any financial assistance, although, according to him, it saved Europe" from jihadists".

    Ivanov stated that Macedonia was constantly deceived by EU countries, but now has to solve the EU's problems on its own.

    "In the refugee crisis, we are now paying for EU's mistakes. We already had to spend 25 million euros of our taxpayers' money […]. And what did we get from Europe? Nothing! Not a cent! Instead, as a non-EU country we have now to protect Europe from another EU country, namely Greece," Ivanov said.

    According to Ivanov, Macedonia has faced a similar situation during the conflict in Kosovo, when the country accepted 360,000 Albanians from Kosovo without any assistance from the EU.

    "It is not the first time that Macedonia has been abandoned by the EU in trouble, we've seen that! When we accepted 360,000 refugees during the Kosovo war, nobody helped us," the politician stressed.

    Ivanov also said that Macedonian authorities have identified 9,000 counterfeit passports during border inspections. He believes that extremists are trying to infiltrate Europe under the guise of refugees. According to the politician, the current refugee crisis has both humanitarian and security dimensions, and Germany has shown humanity, but failed to ensure security for the European continent.

    "Just one example: we wanted to share information on these jihadists with Europe, Germany, but nobody wanted our data. They told us: we can't work with you, you are a third country, and we cannot exchange information with you," Ivanov said.

    Ivanov also stated that the EU repeatedly deceived Macedonia with regard to its possible membership in the bloc. The issue has been repeatedly discussed, but each time came to a standstill because of Greece's opposition.

    Earlier, Macedonia and Serbia had closed their borders to undocumented migrants trying to enter the Schengen area. The decision has been supported by Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, but prompted criticism from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


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