Parliament approved yesterday the government’s plan to create an independent asylum agency to speed up the process of approving or rejecting applications from thousands of refugees to stay in the country.
Greece currently has a backlog of almost 50,000 asylum applications in a process that is handled by the police. But the legislation passed through the House yesterday would hand the authority to a separate body, which would be able to be much more efficient. The change would result in more asylum applications being approved, Citizens’ Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis said.
“If someone comes to request [asylum], if he says he comes from a country which according to the UN’s Geneva Convention gives him the right to receive political asylum, he will get it,” he told Reuters. “This is the big change we are making.”