Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis announced on Monday that he will delay the announced expropriations of land for the creation of new detention camps on five Aegean islands until Friday, after facing strong opposition by local communities.
Last week, the government announced it will issue a legislative act to expropriate properties, land and sites in a bid to speed up the building of closed camps on the islands mostly affected by migration.
The council of the North Aegean Region responded by announcing it would to take legal action against the plan and suspended all cooperation with the government.
Speaking to public broadcaster ERT on Monday, Mitarakis said he was halting the expropriations to allow for new talks with islanders.
He also said the requisitions are “nothing more than a lease of those premises” for three years, adding that the aim is to reduce the time asylum seekers remain in the camps to below six months.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said last week the structures will shelter new arrivals in order to facilitate the identification and asylum processes, and to detain migrants who exhibit abusive behavior and those who are not entitled to asylum and are slated for return to their country of origin.