The regional center for migrant repatriation (CPR) in Macomer, Sardinia | Photo: ANSA
The regional center for migrant repatriation (CPR) in Macomer, Sardinia | Photo: ANSA

The first regional center for migrant repatriation on the Italian island of Sardiania opened on Monday. The facility is located in the town of Macomer, where dozens of migrants arrived recently.

The first regional center for migrant repatriation (CPR) in Sardinia opened on Monday in a former jail in the city of Macomer. 

The former jail has been renovated and can currently host about 50 people. It will have a 100-bed capacity once work has been completed. The center is currently empty and not hosting any migrants, but migrants will soon arrive at the CPR, authorities said.

"The arrival of migrants at the repatriation center in Macomer is imminent, the interior ministry will decide when," the prefect of Nuoro, Anna Aida Bruzzese, told ANSA. "The ministry will assign places depending on landings", she said. "We still don't know where they will come from, they could be arriving from Sardinia as well as from other CPR [centers in Italy]," she explained.

Meanwhile, a justice of the peace is being selected in Oristano, another Sardinian town. The judge will decide on expulsion measures, local authorities said. 

Criticism from opposition members 

The town council of Macomer welcomed the opening of the new center, saying it will have positive effects on the city's economy. 

Opposition members, however, criticized the facility. Arturo Uleri, a municipal councilor with the list 'Uniamoci per Mecomer' (Let's unite for Macomer) who is the local leader of the right-wing party Brothers of Italy (Fdi) told ANSA that the strategy to develop the center is a "failure." 

"Police forces have occupied all hotels in the city, as if we were in a 'police state'," said Uleri, who is a member of the committee 'No to the CPR.'  Uleri denounced that "illegal migrants are continuing to arrive and we think there could be a few problems once they are here, despite the prefecture's reassurances."

Additional security officers have been deployed in Macomer to protect the center and the area. 

Municipal authorities have said the center creates jobs, restoring vitality to the city and that additional security forces have been guaranteed by the prefect's office to ensure the safety of local residents. 

Another member of the city's committee against the center, Gina Falchi, said the "CPR and its jobs will not be the solution for the area's economic depression."

Ministry must decide on CPR's guests, prefect of nuoro says 

Police headquarters in Cagliari will be in charge of transporting the migrants to the center while Nuoro police will "manage the hosting phase,"  prefect Bruzzese said. The local judicial office will "validate the hosting measures issued by the immigration offices of police headquarters" of the cities where migrants are situated before they are moved to Macomer and "at this point the guests will be able to be admitted in the facility," the prefect explained. 

Bruzzese said that her office will be in charge of security measures for the migrants staying at the facility, for workers and for the town's residents. The prefect assured that "police forces have arrived, as well as the military contingent," who will be in charge of surveillance. 

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