Slow appeals process adds to challenges with refugees


A total of 2,711 people were given refugee status last year by the Greek Asylum Service, while another 275 were awarded protection upon appeal, according to data published Tuesday.

In comparison, 3,995 people were recognized as refugees in 2015. Another 474 gained recognition after an appeals process.

The slow pace of the appeals process has been blamed for the problems in implementing the EU-Turkey refugee deal and the overcrowding on the island hot spots.

A number of migrants who have reached Greece but are not eligible for asylum appeal the initial negative judgments to buy more time in the country so they can examine other options for continuing their journeys.

Authorities began Tuesday trying to ease crowding at the Moria camp on Lesvos, with 300 migrants being moved to another facility at Kara Tepe and 80 onto a ship anchored off the island’s coast for the purpose of housing refugees during the winter.