NEWS

Refugee law ‘problematic’

The European Union’s Dublin II Regulation, which stipulates that refugees apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter, increasingly Greece, creates more problems than it solves, experts told a seminar in Athens yesterday. «It creates more problems for people fleeing war zones and does anything but protect them,» said Alekos Anastasiou of the Greek Council for Refugees, which organized the event. He said most refugees prefer to live illegally in countries like Sweden or Netherlands than return to Greece. «Hundreds are adrift in member states without having had their cases examined,» said Alexandra Tourlomousi, head of the Citizens Protection Ministry’s asylum unit. She said a proposal by the European Commission for the suspension of refugee returns has not been heeded by most EU countries. Last year, appeals by EU states to return migrants to Greece doubled, reaching 10,083. Of these, 1,211 were returned.