The Greek Minister for civil protection, Michalis Chrysohoidis, announced on Monday, 26 March 2012, the planned construction of 30 “closed hospitality centres” to house 30,000 undocumented migrants. The centres are going to be built using unoccupied military sites across 10 regions in mainland Greece. The press has quoted Greece’ Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidi saying that some 250 million euros in EU funding was available for the creation of the centres. When the ECRE Weekly Bulletin contacted the European Commission, they were unable to confirm whether the EU will fund the construction of the Greek detention centres.
The local population in the Kozani region of northern Greece protested against the construction of the centres, it is estimated that each centre will hold 1,000 migrants.
The centres are to accommodate migrants that have not been granted asylum or other permission to stay legally in the country. Applying for asylum in Greece is not possible for most people. Every week, only around 20 people are selected to register an application.