Greece to build jail in Albania

Greece has agreed in principle to build a jail in Albania to exclusively house Albanian prisoners currently serving long-term sentences in Greek prisons, thereby alleviating the problem of overcrowding, Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras said yesterday. The new prison will be built with Greek finances. By forgoing the incarceration costs of some 1,800 Albanian nationals, Greece hopes to save money in the long run. «The construction of an equivalent jail in Greece would cost much more than in Albania. Also, after the construction, we will not be burdened with the jail’s operational costs,» said Papaligouras. Greek jails house 8,541 prisoners, almost half of whom are foreign, in facilities built to hold only 5,584 inmates. Greece plans to ship out Albanians serving sentences of over 10 years for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking. The deal has to be approved by both governments before building goes ahead but Papaligouras has agreed to start sending Albanian prisoners home to serve their sentences in the next months. He wants to strike similar deals with Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia.

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