Hundreds of illegal immigrants have been forced from their camp in the Greek port city of Patras. Police bulldozers and around 80 officers took part in the operation. Those living here were mostly Afghans. But the squalid conditions of the camp prompted complaints from local residents.
Those detained have been moved to hotels in the area, the children to a special centre in the north of Greece. It is not clear if they will be deported. “This has been a successful and effective, even if late, demolition,” said Patras police chief Thanassis Davlouros. “All legal procedures and measures concerning the future of these people have been taken.” Greece has often been criticised by international organisations and rights groups for the conditions of its dentention centres. But the conservative government said this month it would get tougher on illegal immigration. Those who arrive here are mainly from Asia and use the Petras port to move on to other European countries. The Greek Prime Minister will meet with his Italian and Spanish counterparts next week to discuss the problem. Police say nobody was injured during the operation, although a fire did break out. Two immigrants were arrested for arson.