Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Migrants desperate to return home

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants wait at the Aliens Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street in Athens every Friday, hoping to submit an application for asylum.

The Greek office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is struggling to handle a barrage of applications from undocumented immigrants who want to be included in its repatriation scheme, with 6,000 requests lodged so far this year -- more than double the total of applications made in the whole of 2011.

The head of the Athens office of IOM, Daniel Esdras, said that around half of the 6,000 applications will have been approved by the end of June, when the program, which is 75 percent subsidized by the EU, is due to end. Esdras proposed that Greek authorities ask Brussels for the cash-strapped country’s financial contribution in future repatriation programs to be reduced.

Meanwhile authorities are struggling with the processing of asylum claims lodged by migrants remaining in Greece. The head of the Citizens’ Protection Ministry’s asylum service, Maria Stavropoulou, said understaffing was a major obstacle. For his part, the head of the Athens office of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), Giorgos Tsarbopoulos, noted that only 30 or 40 of the hundreds of migrants who line up outside the capital’s Aliens Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street every week manage to submit asylum applications.

In a related development, a delegation of 17 European Commission officials, dispatched to Greece to determine whether the country is implementing the terms of the open-border Schengen agreement, completed their mission “satisfied,” police sources told Kathimerini. Ten of the officials were sent to the northern border region of Evros, where they checked border stations and migrant detention centers as well as meeting with local police across the region and at Alexandroupoli airport. Greek police said the visiting inspectors did not express any concerns. “The committee officials left Evros satisfied,” he said.

The second team of European inspectors remained in Attica, where they visited Athens International Airport, the new temporary detention center for undocumented immigrants in Amygdaleza, northwest of the capital, and met with port officials in Piraeus.

Greece’s perceived failure to adequately monitor the EU’s external borders has led to some member states calling for the country to be excluded from the 25-nation Schengen zone in Europe, which allows passport-free travel.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday May 31, 2012 (22:08)  
Independent Greeks leader claims MPs were blackmailed
Charges brought against OKANA chiefs over finances
Pharmacists’ chief warns of drugs shortage in Greece
Lab experiment goes dangerously wrong in Thessaloniki
Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
Greek taxpayers will continue to pay an extra solidarity tax on income in the next two years, but at a 30 percent discount compared to current rates, it emerged on Thursday. The emergency ta...
Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
Spain’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest since the end of 2011 in the third quarter as its economy turned into one of the fastest-growing in the euro region. Joblessness fell to 23.7 per...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Defusing a crisis
The crisis in Cyprus is escalating rapidly and defusing it is an extremely delicate and complicated procedure that will inevitably lead to losses for the weakest of the two sides. The course...
EDITORIAL
PM needs to step up
The public perception of the government is anything but good right now. The coalition is projecting an image of discord and constant disputes show that key ministers are unable to stay on th...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Independent Greeks leader claims MPs were blackmailed
2. Charges brought against OKANA chiefs over finances
3. Pharmacists’ chief warns of drugs shortage in Greece
4. Lab experiment goes dangerously wrong in Thessaloniki
5. Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire suspect arrested over bail violation
6. Highway traffic to be disrupted on Corinth-Patra route
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong winds hamper sea travel
2. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
3. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
4. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
5. Arrivals show increase in January-June 2014 period
6. Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
4. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.