Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Notis Mitarachi made a statement on Tuesday following his participation in a Chios municipal council meeting on the refugee and migration issue.
During the meeting, Mitarachi presented the government's comprehensive plan on the issue.
"Today, the open structure created in 2016 neither meets the necessary security conditions for the residents of Chios nor does it provide decent living conditions for the refugees. It is within the urban fabric, while the proposed new structure is many kilometers away from residential areas. The lack of a closed centre does not allow the new asylum law to be properly implemented as of 1/1/2020 because those who are not eligible for international protection cannot be detained anywhere, and as a result, returns are not facilitated," he said and added:
"Despite the reactions, the municipality approved the creation of a new closed centre and the closure of Vial. It grieves me, however, that despite my request, the municipality has not indicated a new location that is more to the north, in order to resolve any tension with the residents of Vrontados. The municipality insists on a very small, short-stay structure, which does not address the need to examine asylum applications and returns and at the same time leads to a possible increase in flows. The government heard the residents' views and pledged to significantly reduce the proposed capacity of the new centre. The new size proposed by the government must also act as a deterrent and allow the returns of those not entitled to international protection."