The Region of Attica has approved the creation of three reception centers for illegal immigrants provided that centers supply necessary safety measures and dignified living conditions.
Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis welcomed the decision and reiterated his stance for central and local government authorities to work together to deal with an issue which he has described as “a national problem” and “a ticking bomb for public health.”
Earlier in the week, Chrysochoidis announced the creation of 30 detention centers to be set up across the country by next year. The facilities were to be erected at disused military facilities and at other sites. The bill is expected to go through Parliament without a vote.
Some 250 million euros in EU funding is available for the creation of the centers.
It is not yet clear where the three reception centers in Attica will be constructed. Some municipalities are known to have objected. Governors around the country were given until the end of the week to submit proposals for possible location sites in their areas.
Protests by locals against the detention centers in Kozani spread to other areas of northern Greece this week, while Chrysochoidis has appealed to local authorities’ sense of collective responsibility.
Greece is facing the threat of ejection from the Schengen zone, as the country is being accused of inadequately policing its borders.