With Greek farmers blocking highways across the country coaches carrying refugees from Athens to the northern border crossing are being forced to take provincial roads. As a result the journey can take more than 12 hours.
To add to an already chaotic situation the Greek police are unwilling or unable to provide information to NGOs and volunteer groups at Eidomeni concerning when and how many coaches are arriving on any given day.
Partly, this is due to the police's long standing hostility to humanitarian groups operating at the camp, partly, it is incompetence. Although the police have been given the responsibility of monitoring refugee coaches on the move they do not seem to be able to implement this policy in practice.
As a result making decision about how much, food, water and other forms of aid will be needed becomes a matter of guesswork.
The Refugee Solidarity Movement of Thessaloniki - Eidomeni was on hand to give out cups of hot sweet tea last Wednesday and Saturday but with few arrivals we had far fewer "customers" than on other occasions. Still, plenty waiting in the camp to cross the border were happy for the offer of a cup of tea.
Other volunteers helped out at the clothing distribution tent where their Arabic/Greek/English speaking skills were much appreciated.
Fortunately, the border was open for much of the day, though how long it will so is unsure as FYR Macedonia and Greece come under ever more pressure from northern EU nations to stem the flow of refugees taking the Western Balkan Route from the Aegean to northern Europe.
Refugee Solidarity Movement of Thessaloniki and Eidomeni