From: Alice Taylor
50 Albanians Stuck at Greek Border Request Government Assistance

About 50 Albanian immigrants were blocked at the Kapshtica border crossing with Greece today due to issues with their documents.

According to the rules set by the Greek government, every person entering Greece must first fill out an online form to register all personal and travel information. After completing the form, the traveller receives by e-mail a sheet with a unique barcode which is scanned at the border point.

The problem for the 50 immigrants was the travel agencies they got their tickets from did not provide them with unique barcodes, but with only one barcode per family.

This situation has caused problems in the Greek customs, which refuses to allow citizens to cross the border.

Immigrants meanwhile expressed concern that if they are not allowed to pass within a few hours, their COVID-19 test will expire. Greek authorities require a test that was taken in the last 72 hours.

They demand government intervention to resolve this situation.

In August, a 20km long queue formed at the crossing point as thousands of Albanians tried to cross into Greece. Waiting more than four days, the crossing process was held up by restrictions on the number of people that could enter the country each day.

During the standoff, a 10-year-old boy was killed by a speeding ambulance as he was queuing for the border. He and his family had been waiting for two days.

Director of the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, Blendi Gonxhja wrote a statement on social media blaming the mother of the boy for his death, adding that she “doesn’t care as a parent”. He also said the border crisis was the fault of the immigrants. He deleted the statement after widespread outrage.