Migrants move to Igoumenitsa

An operation in the summer to shut down an immigrants’ camp next to the port of Patra has led to more migrants congregating around the northeastern port of Igoumenitsa, police sources told Kathimerini, while also revealing that a team of more than 20 officers has been formed to deal with just this matter. Authorities cleared out hundreds of migrants from the Patra camp in July. At the time, there was no clear indication of the immigrants’ fate. It now seems that many have decided to try to board ferries leaving Igoumenitsa instead. But an officer who preferred to remain anonymous said that this was not the only reason behind the arrests of more illegal immigrants at the port in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2008. «The completion of the Egnatia Highway has helped smugglers to cut down the amount of time it takes to drive to Igoumenitsa from Evros [on the Greek-Turkish border],» he said. Two immigrants have already died this year at Igoumenitsa trying to enter Italy illicitly.