The Greek government appears to have taken a leaf out of the UK government’s book and decided to hold migrants in detention centres indefinitely. The new plans which have already raised significant criticism by campaigners centre on opening 30 former military sites and detaining 1000 people in each.
The government has stated that the detention is necessary to protect public heath and people threatened with indefinite incarceration will include people with HIV, people ivolved in prostitution (and therefore presumably including trafficking victims) or homeless people. It is likely that this definition is so catch-all that it could include almost every immigrant in Greece.
The government argues it has little choice other than to take tougher measures, estimating that more than a million illegal immigrants live in Greece, which has an official population of 11 million.
However, the experience of the use of detention in the UK would show the Greek government that not only is detention incredibly costly, but it also does not work effectively as a deterrent. But despite this, the EU is funding Greece to the tune of 250 million Euros to build the new detention centres and employ staff to run the converted military sites in order to try to close Europe’s back door.