Greece Beefs Up Overrun Refugee Asylum Processing Staff

January 30, 2020

ATHENS – As virtually all some 100,00 refugees and migrants in Greece are seeking asylum after the European Union shut them out, the Migration Ministry said it would add extra staff to review applications that can take two years or longer to be decided.

An afternoon shift will be put in place to help workers bring down the pile of pending applications, said Kathimerini, with two shifts to run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The new hours will apply immediately and includes all permanent and fixed-term employees of regional and central asylum services.

The ministry said it’s aimed at “effectively addressing the volume of pending asylum applications and ensuring the proper functioning of the Asylum Service,” as well as ensuring the “better management of the employees” that will soon be added.

There are some 104,000 applications on hold as the New Democracy government keeps asking the EU for more help and plans to replace camps on islands holding some 50,000 refugees and migrants with detention centers to sort out those ineligible for sanctuary.

Those rejected would be sent back to Turkey under an essentially-suspended swap deal with the EU which has taken back only about 2,000, with New Democracy wanting to deport another 20,000.

They had gone to Turkey fleeing war and strife in their homelands, especially Afghanistan and Syria’s civil war, but also those from areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa looking for work and not fearing for their lives.

It hasn’t been said what happens to those who are returned to Turkey, whether they stay there, seek asylum or are shipped back to their homelands, with the slow pace of sanctuary reviews in Greece another complication as well.


ATHENS - Greece confirmed 10,783 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, with 55 of these identified at entry points to the country, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Sunday.

Top Stories

United States

JANUARY 14-17 GLENBROOK, NV – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco 2022 Young Adult Winter Retreat ‘Citizens of the Desert: Embracing Our Role as Christian Witnesses to Our World’ takes place January 14-17, Martin Luther King weekend, at Lake Tahoe, the Galilee Camp and Conference Center, 1776 U.


CHICAGO – The Greek Women’s University Club (GWUC) celebrated the organization’s 90th anniversary and the launch of the Hellenic Revolution’s 200th anniversary with a scholarship presentation to three female students on December 29th at Jameson’s Charhouse.


The long-awaited historical epic film My Beloved Smyrna (Σμυρνη Μου Αγαπημενη)  has arrived in Greek cinema theaters after a glamorous premiere at the Megaron - Athens Concert Hall.


TNH’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week (Jan 8 – Jan 15) as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.