The scenery in Idomeni is devastating: Empty tents lying around with the belongings of the people who stayed there. The cleaning of the area has already started. There were constructions going on in Camp A, new containers and other infrastructure being put up.
Regular buses from Athens are arriving with people who can pass and with some who are rejected at the Macedonian border. The ones who are rejected have no option but to enter the buses that go back to Athen and cost 20 euros again. We observed a group that didn’t have any money: after a long discussion, they were able to enter the bus nevertheless. In one hour alone two full buses left to Athens. The procedure is very fast now, people leave the buses, get a food packet provided by NGOs and then queue at the border for half an hour.
However, before buses come to Idomeni they spend several hours waiting at a petrol station on the highway, around 40km away from the border. When we were there in the late afternoon, there were around 15 buses. Buses leave one at a time to the border from there, in order to avoid a crowd at the border in Idomeni. We tried to set up our infopoint at the gas station but were sent away by the police.