There has been a fair bit written recently about the current situation facing asylum seekers in Greece. You can find some of the articles covering the issue here. Greece is now rejecting the criticism made by the the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Greece says the UN’s accusations are untrue and it is trying to be fair in handling a big surge in migration
Nikolas Stavrakakis, Head of Asylum for the the Hellenic Police stated that
We are all over the country trying to screen the real people from those coming for economic reasons. We have big pressure and you have to be careful in order to be fair in this process. That’s why we have a lot of delays. All these accusations are untrue
Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, says something slightly different which at least acknowledges that Greece is not actually following EU regulations at the present time. He said the country
would fall in line with EU regulations before the end of June
He also said
Our first and only concern is respect for the human rights of all who arrive in Greece
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 14 (1) states that
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution
I can’t quite see how Pavlopoulos’s sentiment stands up against the numbers (and the accusations of mistreatment of refugees here). Greece has the lowest asylum recognition in Europe by a long way.
Greece 25,113: 0.04% granted refugee status + 2.05% on appeal
UK 27,905: 34% granted refugee status + 24% on appeal
Sweden 36,370: 56% granted refugee status + 14% on appeal
Germany 19,164: 20% granted refugee status + 94% of the remainder on appeal
Does anyone have the figures on funding that Greece receives for asylum ? I have read that it receives very little given the numbers of asylum cases it has to process. I have also heard that the money it does get is not being used to process applications. If it is just a case of lack of funds then, of course, Greece should claim for more. However, I suspect it is a combination of factors.
There is a problem of organisation here. There is very little recognition or public awareness of the problems here for immigrants, refugees, migrants or asylum seekers. There is much denial and foot-stomping when individuals or organisations critisise anything that happens here.