Opposition MPs block legislation on migrant camps, health checks

Citizens? Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis has been forced to withdraw legislation that would have given the government powers to isolate immigrants that are considered a public health risk.

The legislation, which was submitted in the form of an amendment, also paved the way for the creation of reception centers for illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.

The amendment was withdrawn after complaints from MPs belonging to the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). It is not clear if Chrysochoidis will attempt to resubmit the legislation after changes.

The minister unveiled last week plans to create 30 reception centers to house 1,000 migrants each from the end of this month.

Chrysochoidis and Health Minister Andreas Loverdos announced on Sunday that all migrants would need to obtain a health certificate to confirm they were not carrying infectious diseases.

The minister said experts from the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) are to start conducting checks on migrants with a focus on those living in cramped and unsanitary conditions in central Athens.