The Greek government published on Friday a joint ministerial decision that outlines 12 countries that are considered safe to return failed asylum seekers, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported.
The JMD, signed by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, lists the countries as Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Gambia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Albania, Georgia, Ukraine, India and Armenia.
Based on article 87 of the new 2019 law on applying for asylum, a country can be judged safe for an asylum seeker if an examination of his or her application shows that they have not cited “serious reasons why the country is not a safe country of origin for the applicant."
The new law provides for the fast-tracked consideration of asylum applications by individuals from safe countries of origin, allowing shorter processing times.
Greece's conservative government adopted a stricter law on migration, aiming to limit arrivals, increase deportations of failed asylum seekers and establish more restrictive holding centers.
Migrant and refugee arrivals from neighboring Turkey have risen in recent months, with tens of thousands of people crammed into identification centers on islands which have long exceeded their capacity.