Concerns are mounting in Greece that the country could have to deal with thousands of trapped migrants and refugees, after border crossings to Balkan nations to the north were abruptly closed.Macedonia’s decision to prohibit entry to anyone not perceived to be from war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq has fuelled fears that the EU’s weakest member may be left picking up the pieces.“The nightmare scenario has started to develop where Greece is turned from a transit country to a holding country due to the domino effect of European nations closing their borders,” said Dimitris Christopoulos, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights. “There is no infrastructure in place to handle people being stuck here.” An estimated 3,600 Europe-bound migrants were stranded on the Greek side of the frontier on Sunday. “More and more are arriving all the time,” said Luca Guanziroli, field officer with the United Nations refugee agency in the border village of Idomeni. “There is a lot of anxiety, a lot of tension.” Labouring under its worst crisis in modern times, debt-stricken Athens is ill-placed to deal with any emergency that might put more burden on a fragile state apparatus. As spontaneous protests erupted at the weekend, the government dispatched its junior interior minister for migration, Yiannis Mouzalas, to Idomeni to hold talks with local officials. One said: “We are very worried. We can hardly cope, and that’s just waving them [refugees] through.” Those affected by the ban – mainly Iranians, north Africans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis – demonstrated within spitting distance of Macedonian border guards on Saturday, shouting “we are not terrorists” and “we are not going back”.The UNHCR said it was wrong to profile people on the basis of nationality. “You cannot assume that they are all economic migrants,” said Guanziroli. “You cannot assume that a lot of them aren’t persecuted in their own countries.”Macedonia is not the only state to tighten border controls. In the wake of the Paris attacks, many nations along Europe’s refugee corridor – in the western Balkans and further north – have also restricted access to those not thought to be fleeing war.“This business of placing restrictions and erecting fences to keep terrorists out when terrorists are already in their countries makes no sense whatsoever,” said Ketty Kehayioylou, a UNHCR spokeswoman in Athens. “Profiling by nationality defies every convention.”The bottleneck has increased demand for people smugglers and fake travel documents including Syrian passports. A group of Greeks and Pakistanis arrested last week on the Aegean island of Lesbos on charges of forging permits will appear before a court in Athens on Monday.As the main entry point to Europe, Greece has seen 703,374 people arrive on its shores this year alone, according to UNHCR data. A total of 850,571 sea arrivals were registered across Greece, Italy and Malta during the same period. Those landing in Greece invariably head north, crossing the Macedonian border and travelling up through the Balkans into Europe.The border closures spurred the European council president, Donald Tusk, to conduct a lightning tour of the region at the weekend. Tusk was due to hold talks with Macedonia’s nationalist prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, later on Sunday, and was expected to raise concern over the humanitarian side effects that will inevitably arise from the slowing down of the movement of refugees.