PM Giorgia Meloni meets Albanian PM Rama at one of the Italian-run migranty centres in Albania

Albanian migrant centres will be operational in August


Two new migrant centres run by Italy in Albania will be operational from 1st August, Premier Giorgia Meloni said on Wednesday.

During Meloni’s visit to a third hotspot in the port city of Shengjin with Prime Minister Edi Rama, she announced the centres would be operational from 1st August. Wednesday.

The centres were supposed to have opened on 20th May but there have been construction and procedural delays on the Italian side.

Italy’s two migrant centres in Albania will start by processing one thousands migrants, a figure that will rise to a maximum of over 3,000 when the bilateral protocol is fully up and running, Premier Giorgia Meloni said on a visit to a third centre, a hotspot.

“At the Gjader centre we will start with more than 1,000 places at the moment, which will reach the 3,000 envisaged by the protocol,” she said.  “The two facilities must work together, and they will be ready from the first of August.”

“Italy and Albania are historically friendly nations, which are used to working together, and I want to thank Prime Minister Rama and the Albanian people once again for offering their help and for entering into an agreement with us that has a great European dimension”, she said.

The scheme has been criticised by rights groups as externalising migration processing and creating a new Guantanamo. However, several other European countries have said they would like to emulate it.

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