Immigration: Greece; illegals desperate to return home, IOM

01 June, 13:12

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, JUNE 1 - The Greek office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is struggling to handle a barrage of applications from undocumented immigrants who want to be included in its repatriation scheme, with 6,000 requests lodged so far this year -- more than double the total of applications made in the whole of 2011. As daily Kathimerini reports, the head of the Athens office of IOM, Daniel Esdras, said that around half of the 6,000 applications will have been approved by the end of June, when the program, which is 75% subsidized by the EU, is due to end. Esdras proposed that Greek authorities ask Bruxelles for the cash-strapped country's financial contribution in future repatriation programs to be reduced. Meanwhile authorities are struggling with the processing of asylum claims lodged by migrants remaining in Greece. The head of the Citizens' Protection Ministry's asylum service, Maria Stavropoulou, said understaffing was a major obstacle. For his part, the head of the Athens office of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), Giorgos Tsarbopoulos, noted that only 30 or 40 of the hundreds of migrants who line up outside the capital's Aliens Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street every week manage to submit asylum applications. In a related development, a delegation of 17 European Commission officials, dispatched to Greece to determine whether the country is implementing the terms of the open-border Schengen agreement, completed their mission "satisfied," police sources told Kathimerini. (ANSAmed)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Copyright ANSA

Business opportunities

The information system of business
opportunities abroad

News from Mediterranean