First-time asylum applicants in Greece posted percentage increase of 339 pct in 2016

There was a percentage increase of 339 pct in the number of first-time asylum applicants in Greece in 2016, which rose to 49,875 in 2016 from 11,370 in 2015, according to figures released by Eurostat on Thursday.

On the basis of these figures, Greece ranks second among EU countries for the total number of asylum applications filed in relation to its population. Germany is first with 8,789 applications per million population, followed by Greece with 4,525 applications per million population. Third is Austria with 4,587, followed by Malta (3,989), Luxembourg (3,582) and Cyprus (3,350).

The number of new asylum applicants on an EU level dropped to 1.204 million in 2016, for a percentage change of -4 pct, but were more than double the number of applicants in 2014. Most asylum applicants in EU member-states were Syrians (28 pct), Afghans (15 pct) and Iraqis (11 pct).

In Greece, Syrians accounted for more than half of asylum applicants (53 pct), Iraqis for 10 pct and Pakistanis 9 pct.