Greece’s Migration Ministry announced Thursday it is introducing an afternoon shift for employees in the asylum service in an effort to tackle the mountain of pending applications.
According to the ministry’s press release, the morning shift will be from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and the afternoon shift from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The new hours will apply immediately and includes all permanent and fixed-term employees of regional of central asylum services.
The decision is aimed at “effectively addressing the volume of pending asylum applications and ensuring the proper functioning of the Asylum Service,” as well as ensuring the “better management of the employees” that will soon be added, it added.
A total of 104,000 asylum applications are currently pending in Greece. Officials have said that the slow pace of asylum applications has also had an impact on the rate of migrant returns to their countries of origin.