Migrants in Patras to be sent to other facilities, says Migration Minister Vitsas

There is a comprehensive plan to relocate the 500 migrants currently living in two abandoned factories in the port city of Patras to suitable reception facilities, Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas said on Friday. Vitsas was answering a question posed by Democratic Alliance deputy Theodoros Papatheodorou in parliament.

He also reassured the MP that no migrant housing facility will be set up in the region of Achaia.

Papatheodorou noted the need to immediately evacuate the two unofficial “camps” in Patras, saying they had become “hotbeds of organised crime and a cause of great anxiety for the citizens of Patras.”

“We are aware of the problem and do not overlook it. Of course, it is not enough to simply recognise the problem; you must also solve it. For this reason, we are cooperating with the ministries of citizen protection and shipping,” said Vitsas.

He noted that the arrival of migrants hoping to board a ship to Italy had attracted mafia-style organised crime to the unofficial Patras camps, leading to a rise in crime levels. “It is important these people be persuaded that they must abide by the law and legal procedures and we hope that their removal will not be carried out by force but through persuasion. To this end, we will use all gentle and peaceful means,” he said.