The Greek Police in its most recent statistics on 2013 anounced that police and coast guard together from January to December of the same year had arrested 39.759 foreigners without papers instead of 73.976 in 2012. This is a decrease of 46,2%.
From January to November 2013 “only” 955 foreigners were arrested in Evros at the land border to Turkey for “illegal entry”. In 2012 the number outreached 30,000.
While there was an overall decrease in arrivals there was also a shift of migration routes from the land border to the Aegean sea. In Mytilene 3,539 persons were arrested from January to November 2013 compared to 1,101 in the year before. On Samos island 2,914 were arrested in 2013 compared to 884 in 2012. In total 10,481 persons were arrested in he Aegean for “illegal entry” compared to 2,960 in 2012.
The largest group among the 39,759 arrested in Greece in 2013 are ALbanians (14,366), followed by Syrians (7,665), Afghans (5,960), Pakistani (3,744) and Bangladeshi (1,398).
Furthermore, from August 2012 (start of operation Xenios Dias) to the end of 2013 34,808 persons (either through IOM “voluntarily” either in deportations carried out by the Greek police and sometimes in cooperation with Frontex). In 2013 26.186 persons were returned compared to 22.117 in 2012 – an increase of 18,4%.
In 2012 40 persons were returned to Greece based on Dublin procedures from other EU-countries.
kathimerini (in greek)
According to the president of the Service the Athens office takes 40 asylum applications per day while another 10-20 are taken in the other offices (Orestiada and Alexandroupoli / Evros, Rhodes and Mytilene / Aegean. Mobile units also work in Amigdaleza prison and in Thessaloniki. More offices are planned in Samos, Chios, Heraklion and Patras.). The backlog which is still proceeded by the Aliens Police in Petrou Ralli has been decreased to 27,000.
NGOs though criticise the long queues at Katechaki street, the malfunctioning of a proper procedure to filter vulnerable cases and the insufficiency of translation in all languages. More than hat, the Asylum Service seems to be supportive and thus cooperative with the Greek Police concerning the long detention of asylum applicants.
The Asylum Office states that asylum applications of detainees are proceeded within 43 days (compared to the aim of proceeded the other asylum cases in a period of 90 days).
Within 7 months the asylum service which started its work on June 7th, 2013 has proceeded 5.577 asylum applications from 77 countries.
The asylum recognition rate reaches from around zero for nationals from Albania and Georgia up to 99,1% for Syrians and 100% for Somalis. In average the first decision comes after 63 days.
In the first stance decision from June 7th 2013 to end of January 2014 11,6% received political asylum and 5,2% subsidiary. Most of them come from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Eritrea and Sudan. Compared to that in 2012 the overall recognition rate was 0,9%.
Currently 207 persons work for the Asylum Service.
In 2013 674 persons who had applied for family reunification under Dublin III were accepted to leave Greece.
kathimerini (in greek)