UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that I had used the wrong word in this post. I used the word “trafficker” when it should be “smuggler”. Thank you for pointing out the mistake. I have corrected it below
The less than 1% recognition rate of asylum seekers in Greece (the lowest in Europe) may be about to become even less (if that’s possible!)
New asylum rules which are being put forward by the government would force asylum seekers to take their rejected claims to the Council of State. Only if they manage to overturn the original rejection, would they be able to submit a new claim. This would also mean that they would have to hire lawyers making it a difficult and expensive process.
From the Athens News
The elimination of the [appeals procedure] will deny asylum seekers the right of a genuine appeal,” the local UNHCR branch explained in a statement
The United Nations refugee Council in Athens has critisised the new proposals
In a 10-page report published in April 2008, the UNHCR said asylum seekers returned to Greece are “automatically detained” and interviewed in a language they do not understand and without being counselled on their rights during the asylum process.
What this means in real terms…
You will be one of the lucky less than 1% that is granted asylum on first application
You have paid vast amounts of money to smugglers to get you to Greece. When you get here, you will try and process an asylum claim which will almost automatically be rejected. You will have no money to hire a lawyer so you will be deported.
You will have paid vast amounts of money to smugglers to get you to Greece. When you get here, you will try and process an asylum claim which will almost automatically be rejected. You then manage to find enough money to hire a lawyer and take your appeal to the Council of State. They might (chances are they won’t but let’s say for the sake of argument) overturn the original rejection. You will then file another asylum claim which will almost automatically be rejected and you will be deported.
Like I said some years back (when the percentage of successful asylum claims here was a little higher at 1.9% ! ), it is best to avoid Greece if you are looking to escape torture, persecution, war, famine or oppression.