NEWS

Greece low on asylum seekers’ priorities

Only a tiny fraction of the immigrants who enter the country every year seek political refugee status, with Greece ranking among the last European countries as regards the number of asylum applications, according to figures released yesterday. The Public Order Ministry and the UNHCR said 2,906 immigrants have requested political asylum this year. Most were Iraqis (1,211), Afghans (833), and Turks (197). By the beginning of November, around 205,000 illegal immigrants had been arrested. Last year, asylum requests numbered 2,100. Since January, 117 people have been granted political refugee status, while 548 applications have been rejected. Another 168 immigrants have been granted semi-refugee status on humanitarian grounds. Greece ranks 20th out of 24 European states in asylum applications. Germany is first on the list.