Residents of a northern Greek town of Kozani have erected barricades along a road leading to a disused army base to prevent it from being turned into the country's first major detention center for illegal immigrants. Residents of Neapoli, a town about 40 kilometers from the Albanian border, said on Friday that they would man the roadblocks around the clock to prevent construction crews from starting work.
The protest comes a day after Citizens' Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said the base near the city of Kozani would be converted into the center and it would start operating mid-April, ahead of general elections expected in late April or early May. It is to house 1,000 illegal immigrants.
Greece is one of the European Union's busiest transit points for illegal immigration.