NEWS

Greece defends migrant record

Citizens? Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis on Thursday defended Greece against claims that its detention centers for undocumented immigrants are substandard, noting that the debt-ridden country should not be expected to invest in upgrading facilities at a time of acute austerity for its citizens.

Responding to criticism by Germany?s Deputy Interior Minister Ole Schroeder, Papoutsis said he would not allow anyone to ?doubt the will and efforts of our country in protecting human rights? and attributed inadequate detention centers to a delay in the release of European Union subsidies.

?At a time when the Greek government is asking for sacrifices from its people and Greek citizens have seen a large reduction in their income it would be contradictory at the very least for the national budget to be used for upgrading detention conditions for illegal immigrants,? he said.

According to statistics released by Frontex, the EU?s border monitoring agency, nearly 90 percent of undocumented immigrants arrested at the bloc?s external borders are detained in Greece.