Bloomberg News

Greece to Create 30 Holding Centers to House Illegal Immigrants

March 27, 2012

Greece’s government plans to create 30 detention centers on the mainland to house illegal immigrants before they are deported.

Each center will have space for about 1,000 people and serve as a holding point before detainees who don’t qualify for asylum are deported, according to a statement on the Ministry of Citizen Protection’s website.

“We must show that we’re not giving false promises to local communities and that we will solve the immigration problem,” Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoides said yesterday after meeting with regional leaders, according to the statement.

As many as 90 percent of illegal immigrants in the European Union enter the bloc through Greece, according to Greek police statistics. In 2011, about 100,000 people were arrested for crossing the country’s borders illegally.

Chrisochoides said the centers will have adequate security and create thousands of jobs in communities where they are located. Greece may get 250 million euros ($333 million) from the EU to help pay for the centers, said Chrisochoides.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at

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