Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis stressed the pressure that the Greek capital was under from illegal migration, saying that an average of 300 undocumented immigrants make it through the Greek border on a daily basis, and most of these make their way to Athens.
Kaminis was speaking on Skai Television on Thursday morning during a discussion into a plan announced last week by Citizens' Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis for the creation of 30 migrants 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.
The plan has met with resistance from local residents and authorities in the areas pinpointed for the new detentions centers who see them as a security risk.
Addressing his colleagues from the TV discussion on Thursday morning, Kaminis urged them not to see the issue in narrow, regional terms, but to think of the greater good and to provide motives so that the creation of the centers have a beneficial effect on local communities.
Apart from one site for a detention center near Kozani, northern Greece, where residents are already protesting, officials are also considering facilities near Thessaloniki, as well as Diavata, Florina and Skydra, also in northern Greece, and Katsimidi, north of Athens.
Greece is facing the threat of ejection from the Schengen zone, as the country is being accused of inadequately policing its borders.