There was a significant reduction in the number of asylum seekers on the islands of the North Aegean, as well as residents in refugee and migrant facilities throughout the country, in December 2021 compared to the same month the previous year, according to figures released by the migration and asylum ministry on Thursday.
More specifically, the number of asylum seekers residing in facilities on the N. Aegean islands has dropped 79 pct, to 3,508, while the residents in facilities throughout the country dropped 49 pct.
Arrivals in 2021 were 58 pct lower on the islands and 49 pct lower in total, compared to 2020, though arrivals in December 2021 rose 71 pct compared with those in December 2020.
There were 28,320 asylum applications submitted in 2021, while the number of pending applications at the end of the year was 40,114, reduced by 50 pct compared with the previous year.
"The tangible results of our policy allow us to look the citizens in the eye. The flows remain steadily low and decongestion is turning into action, both on the islands and on mainland Greece, where we shut 86 facilities and existing facilities are operating at half their capacity," Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi said.