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Macedonia to prolong state of emergency at border

The proposal of the Macedonian government to extend the state of emergency at borders was approved by the parliament on Monday.

The green light was given by the Commission for Defense and Security in the Macedonian parliament. The state of emergency that was to end on December 31 would be prolonged for additional six months till June 30 2017.

The measure applies to the southern border with Greece and the northern border with Serbia, where there is biggest influx of migrants from conflict areas trying to reach Europe.

It is supported with an assessment of the Macedonian security forces that there are still potential risks of renewing migrant pressure at the borders.

The state of emergency at the Macedonian borders was first introduced in August 2015, in the peak of the migrant crisis.

Although the Balkan route for transit of the migrants to Western Europe is officially closed, there are still potential risks, Macedonian Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski said when visiting the police forces in the northern border town of Kumanovo.

"We have one thing clear - the migrant crisis could escalate again at any moment and Macedonia has to be prepared for that scenario. The ongoing migration process is a global problem and it does not depend, nor it can be solved unilaterally by Macedonia," he added.

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