Migration influx dropped 80 pct in 2020, says annual ministry report

The refugee and migration influx to Greece dropped 80 pct in 2020, according to the Migration & Asylum Ministry’s annual report, which will be made public in full on Tuesday, said minister Notis Mitarachi on Monday.

Speaking in parliament, the minister said the 25-page report presents data collected by all the relevant agencies, including refugee reception centers and the asylum service. All this data will be available in aggregate form, from now on, he noted, as all services and agencies are operating in unison, according to the ministry’s new planning policy.

Explaining the figures further, the minister said the migration influx dropped 87 pct in the Greek islands and 62 pct in the Evros border region in northern Greece.
Some 106,000 asylum status decisions were issued in 2020, of which 33 pct concerned refugee status approvals; a total of 40,000 new applications were put through the system in 2020, although 25,000 of those were submitted in 2020 by refugees and migrants who had arrived in 2019, explained Mitarachi.

Even though pending cases have been reduced by 43 pct, some 80,000 decisions are still expected, the minister added, the target being to have no pending cases at all by the end of 2021.

The number of refugees and migrants accommodated in relevant facilities throughout the country was reduced by 93,000 to 65,000, as 57 hotel accommodations were closed in 2020; another 3 such hosting centers have so far been closed in 2021, he added.