Police were to transfer some 200 immigrants into the compound by late Sunday as residents staged a protest against the center outside the police training school which is adjacent to the facility. A total of 1,200 migrants are to be moved into the center until mid-May.
Then additional centers are to open in different parts of the country, according to the minister, who insists that this project will solve Greece’s problem with illegal immigration. About 130,000 immigrants cross the country's porous sea and land borders every year -- the vast majority via Turkey -- and the authorities are forced to release those who are arrested because of a lack of permanent housing. The Amygdaleza camp consists of dozens of containers that were originally set up to house people hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes. Using the containers has met with opposition from Transport Minister Makis Voridis, a conservative official with a nationalist background.