Malakasa camp movements to be monitored
Amid vehement opposition from locals against the operation of a migrant camp that opened Malakasa, east of the Greek capital, in March, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said on Monday it will be the first of its kind on the mainland as the movement of its residents will be tightly monitored.
Speaking on Mega TV, Mitarakis said that a system controlling who comes in and out of the camp will be installed within the coming weeks.
His comments come as the government tries to walk a tightrope, striving to implement its plans to provide shelter to asylum seekers against mounting opposition of local communities.
On Sunday Malakasa locals held a rally on the national highway interchange to protest against the new camp’s operation, which is the second one in the area, supplementing an open facility that is currently in operation.
The protesters clashed with police trying to prevent them from marching to the camp. Six officers were injured in the clashes and five people were remanded in custody.
There has been a shelter for asylum seekers in Malakasa for the past two years, housing about 1,800 people.
However, in March a temporary structure was set up in the area, a short distance from the previous permanent structure, to house some 1,200 migrants who arrived from the islands.
Over the next two months, this structure was transformed into a permanent one, at a cost of over 4 million euros.
About 3,000 migrants are housed in the two structures, in an area where permanent residents do not exceed 500.