Greek Migration Minister Backs Island Refugee, Migrant Camps

ATHENS – Greece's Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis has set aside objections from officials and residents on five Greek islands and said that new detention centers there for refugees and migrants seeking asylum are necessary.

He said a structure on Chios has been designed to accommodate 580 people, while at the same time a pre-departure center with a capacity of 570 will also be created but didn't say when an existing facility will close.

Responding to the reactions of the local community, he stressed “what Chios asked for was done,” without elaborating what that was as those on the islands said they've become weary of hosting the center.

A Member of Parliament from the tiny center-left Movement for Change (KINAL,) Giorgos Kaminis, who visited Chios, said residents don't want the new structures and asked how a new one would operate there.

The facilities are being used to vet arrivals from Turkey, which is allowing human traffickers to keep sending refugees and migrants during an essentially-suspended swap deal with the European Union.


ATHENS — Greek authorities say another sailboat carrying dozens of migrants arrived Thursday at Kythera, the third in just under two days to make it to the southern island that isn't on the usual route for asylum-seekers trying to reach the European Union.

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