Greece: Asylum Service reduces operations in Athens due to staff shortage

The Greek Asylum Service announced on Monday 25 May 2015 that: "the Regional Asylum Office of Attica, from 25 May until further notice would attend to a reduced number of people due to lack of personnel. Only the scheduled (via Skype) Asylum application Registrations, Interviews will be conducted and other administrative actions."

This announcement implies that newly arrived asylum seekers will not be able to formally register their claims in Athens until the Asylum Service is appropriately staffed to fully resume its operations. The scaling-down of operations in the Regional Office of Attica raises deep concerns regarding protection seekers' prompt access to the procedure and to documentation attesting their right to stay on the territory of Greece, without which they remain at risk of detention and deportation.

This development comes several days following protests by Syrian refugees outside the Attica Regional Asylum Office against the obstacles and delays they face with regard to the registration of their asylum application.

 

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