ATHENS – Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion will continue to have priority and protection in Greece as the New Democracy government said it wants to keep out all others and denied allegations of pushbacks.
The Ukrainians living in Greece will have their status extended to Sept. 4 this year after earlier criticism they were being favored as those from predominantly Muslim countries were being shut out.
The European Commission said that since the invasion began until January of this year that 23,312 electronic applications were submitted, and 21,964 temporary protection permits were issued in Greece, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported.
Of these permits, 15,059, or 69 percent were issued to women and 6,905, or 31 percent, to men. Regarding age, a total of 6,492, or 29.6 percent were given to minors and 15,472, or 70.4 percent, to adults, the site said.
Greece’s Ministry of Migration and Asylum revealed that 24 percent of Ukrainian minors up to the age of 13 received temporary protection status in Greece, followed by those between the ages of 14 and 17 with 5.6 percent.
In other categories, 24.2 percent of adults aged 18-34 were granted temporary protection, 37.2 percent of those aged 35-64, and nine percent of adults over 65 aged benefited from the temporary status.
The New Democracy government has continued to deny claims by refugees, migrants, rights groups, activists, and major media reports that it’s pushing back those trying to reach the country, most coming from Turkey where they first went fleeing war, strife and economic hardships, primarily Syria and Afghanistan.