New Democracy Says Refugee Asylum Applications Will Go Faster

January 13, 2020

ATHENS – A new scheme designed to relieve overloading of refugees and migrants on Greek islands will speed asylum application procedures as well as deportations, the New Democracy government is hoping.

There are more than 45,000 on islands near Turkey – where they had first gone fleeing war and strife in their homelands before human traffickers there were allowed to send them to Greece to seek sanctuary.

Scores of thousands came after the Conservatives won July 7, 2019 snap elections, ousting the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that was accused by its rival of having an open-door policy effectively inviting refugees and migrants to come.

The European Union, reneging on pledges to help spread the arrivals around other countries, closed its borders to them, dumping the problem largely on Greece during the height of its near decade-long economic and austerity crisis.

There’s no way to force Turkey – which has accepted only about 2,000 back since a now essentially-suspended swap deal with the EU began in 2016 – to take back more, leaving New Democracy in a quandary.

There are another 50,000 on the mainland and the government is also planning to replace island camps with detention centers to vet out those deemed ineligible for asylum, giving preference to those fleeing war and terrorism over economic migrants, largely from.

At the beginning of December, 83,683 first-instance asylum applications were pending, said Kathimerini, with many applicants having to wait up to two years for an answer and six months even to file a request.

On Lesbos in 2019, some 18,800 asylum applications were registered out of a total of 54,000 across the country. Priority will be given to those who fled Syria’s civil war as well as those from Afghanistan.


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.