Residents of Malacca in Greece are demanding the closure of a nearby asylum center in the face of regular crimes by immigrants. The members of the small village of five hundred inhabitants, forty kilometers from Athens, wrote a letter to the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, calling on the government to relocate thousands of immigrants who had repeatedly committed acts of violence in the village.
According to Greek newspaper Ethnos, residents of the facility recently threw stones at the house of an elderly man, causing significant damage to the property, and attempted to set fire to several churches. Apart from recent cases, residents complain of ongoing vandalism, such as damage to public spaces, thefts, violence against women and the elderly, and violations of hygiene and public health rules.
“The Malacca community has run out of patience in receiving immigrants”, the mayor of the village, Costantinos Litzas wrote in a letter. He also drew attention to the fact that it is ridiculous for such a small community to hold nearly three thousand illegal immigrants.
“Our settlement of five hundred inhabitants has carried on its back the weight of a community of an average of 2,600 refugees over the past five years”, the mayor wrote, demanding the closure of the facility and the displacement of immigrants.
In May, the government of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced plans to relocate immigrants living in the country on the islands of Lesbos and Chios once new facilities are built.
Compared to its left-wing predecessor, the Conservative government, which took office in the summer of 2019, is taking a stronger and tougher line against the influx of migrants flowing into the country.
As a result, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4,172 immigrants arrived in Greece in 2021, mostly from Afghanistan, compared with 15,696 in 2020, and 74,613 in 2019.
Title image: Migrants arriving to Greece. (MTI/AP/Yannis Spirunis)