Italy takes ten percent of EU asylum seekers

Italy last year granted 14,465 people asylum, a jump of 56 percent from 9,270 in 2012, statistics released on Thursday show.

Italy takes ten percent of EU asylum seekers
Italy accepted 56 percent more asylum-seekers last year than in 2012. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

In 2013, Italy was one of the top five countries in the EU for offering people asylum, taking in ten percent of the total, the data from EU statistics agency Eurostat show.

Sweden came top by offering 26,400 protection, swiftly followed by Germany with 26,100.

France granted asylum to 16,200 people, coming ahead of Italy and the UK, where 13,400 applications were approved.

In Italy, the largest group came from Afghanistan, accounting for 1,600 of successful asylum applications, followed by 1,600 Somalis and 1,485 from Mali.

This bucked the broader European trend, as the 28 EU countries awarded asylum to 35,830 Syrians – 26 percent of the total.

Sweden and Germany once again came up top, with 12,000 Syrians being granted refuge in the Scandinavian nation and 9,600 in Germany.

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In the Netherlands 2,105 Syrians were given protective status, slightly more than in Bulgaria, with 2,020, and Romania, where 1,580 of Syrians’ asylum applications were accepted last year.

The three-year Syrian civil war has prompted a mass exodus from the country, with 2.8 million registered refugees according to UN statistics. 

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