Mi­grant fa­cil­ity to be built at busy port

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Chris­tos Papout­sis and the mayor of the Igoumenitsa, Gior­gos Katsi­nos, yes­ter­day agreed on the con­struc­tion of a re­cep­tion cen­ter in the area for the tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion of hun­dreds of un­doc­u­mented mi­grants try­ing to get to Italy from the north­west­ern port.

It was also de­cided that po­lice would set up road­blocks out­side the area of the port so that checks can be car­ried out on the pass­ports of sus­pected il­le­gal im­mi­grants. ID checks are not cur­rently com­mon prac­tice in ports and air­ports of the 25 Euro­pean coun­tries that are part of the Schen­gen Agree­ment.

In a speech be­fore Par­lia­ment, Papout­sis said that more re­cep­tion cen­ters were nec­es­sary to deal with an in­ten­si­fied in­flux of im­mi­grants. “We need not one but two, three, four or five cen­ters to tackle the prob­lem,” he said.

In the mean­time, in Igoumenitsa, lo­cal po­lice have been round­ing up the mi­grants and keep­ing them in hold­ing cells across the pre­fec­ture. But the mi­grants can only be held for a cou­ple of days due to a lack of avail­able space in the cells. Most of those re­leased are be­lieved to re­turn to Igoumenitsa, where hun­dreds of mi­grants of var­i­ous eth­nic ori­gins use makeshift set­tle­ments as launch pads for at­tempts to sneak onto fer­ries to Italy.

At the land bor­der with Tur­key, the in­flux of would-be mi­grants is still strong and plans for the con­struc­tion of a fence are said to be pro­gress­ing. An of­fi­cial at the min­istry told Kathimerini that fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies have been com­pleted and a competition will soon be an­nounced to choose the con­trac­tor who will take on the job. “It won’t be long be­fore the fence pro­ject is a re­al­ity,” the of­fi­cial said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.