Modern odyssey: Migrants from Africa, Asia seek to enter Europe through the Balkans' back door

March 26, 2015 4:06 AM

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THESSALONIKI, Greece – Migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East take many routes to cross illegally into the European Union, and all are fraught with likely disappointment and occasional danger. The newest path, through the EU's Balkans back door, comes with a cruel twist: an epic 250-kilometer (150-mile) walk that is surging in popularity even though most who try it fail.

This month, The Associated Press traveled for 10 days and nights with a 45-member group of West African migrants trying to reach Germany and France via Hungary, the terminus of the Western Balkans route. Many trekkers have faced years of failure to reach the heart of Europe by other sea and air rout...

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