Minister: migrant center to open ‘within hours’

Citizens? Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told Skai on Friday that the first of 30 temporary detention centers for undocumented immigrants would start operating in Amygdaleza, northwest of Athens, ?within hours.?

The minister said the first group of around 200 migrants would be transferred to the facility soon, likely over the weekend, noting that the center would offer three meals a day to residents as well as a prayer site.

Chrysochoidis brushed off the vehement opposition of local residents to the project, noting that security concerns were not an issue as a police training school is located right next to the facility.

The minister said the Amygdaleza center, and those that will be set up subsequently, would solve Greece?s problem with illegal immigration.

On Thursday, Greek health authorities started inspections on undocumented immigrants living in crowded apartments in central Athens as police continued sweeps on apartments inhabited by large numbers of migrants.