Local officials and residents of the major northwest port city of Igoumenitsa will reportedly block the main harbour on Tuesday in order to pressure the government to take measures over the problem of illegal immigrants congregating at the port and surrounding land.
The specific day was chosen for the protest rally in the port, since truck traffic boarding Italy-bound ferry boats is expected to increase on Tuesday.
An announcement signed by the mayor of Igoumenitsa, Georgios Katsinos, underlined that "the problem from the presence of illegal immigrants in our city negates every effort for the region's growth. The expected benefits from the operation of major projects, such as the Egnatia Motorway and the port, have been abolished in practice."
As the mayor clarified, replying to a relevant question by the ANA-MPA, "the situation constitutes an obstacle for the growth of the region, because the first image a tourist has in the port is negative.
"Exactly opposite the anchorage of ships docking from Italy, at Ladohori, is the migrants' encampment; shoddy huts of wood and nylon under the trees. They move about in groups, in a wretched state, through the port. A visitor feels insecure and this is confirmed by the calls we receive at the municipality on a daily basis," he said.