ATHENS – The to-be-built closed facility on Chios island will not allow long-term stay for migrants there, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi in a statement ahead of the meeting of the municipal council of Chios on the asylum seekers on Friday.
The facility “will only function as an identification, recording and asylum decision centre, with a stay of up to six months,” the minister added.
In addition he said that the VIAL factory used as a hotspot on the island “must close immediately” and explained that the new facility replacing VIAL will house fewer asylum seekers than the current number on Chios. The rest will be transferred either to mainland Greece or back to Turkey, he said. No migrants will be housed in regular apartments in homes and villages, he added.
Speaking of the processing of asylum applications, Mitarachi said that the government “has already managed to reduce application decisions to 24 days for January arrivals,” and noted further legislation is forthcoming that will promote transfers out of Chios in less than two months, maximum six if they appeal the rejected asylum applications.
He added that the government will offer primary healthcare and other services at the new facilities, to avoid burdening the town’s hospital and the town services.