Refugee crisis

Italy fourth in EU for refugee status requests

Italy fourth in EU for refugee status requests
Syrian migrants at a refugee centre in Milan in January. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP
Some 14,900, or seven percent, of asylum seekers across the EU applied for refugee status in Italy in the second quarter of 2015, figures released by Eurostat on Friday showed.

Italy received the fourth-highest number of registrations from first time applicants across the EU states during the period, according to the data.

At 80,900, or 38 percent, Germany received the most of the total 213,200 requests, followed by Hungary (32,700, or 15 percent) and Austria (17,400, or eight percent).

Italy was followed by France, which registered 14,700 applications, and Sweden, which registered 14,300. The Italy figure was 355 less than in the first quarter.

Hungary was the European state with the largest number of asylum seekers relative to its population, at 3,317 per million inhabitants, ahead of Austria at 2,026, Sweden at 1,467 and Germany at 997 per million.

Syria was the main country of citizenship of those (44,000) who applied for refugee status across the EU for the first time during the second quarter, Eurostat said, followed by Afghanistan (27,000) and Albania (17,700). Almost 90 percent of Albanians applied in Germany.

Meanwhile, at the end of June, some 592,000 people across the EU were still waiting for their asylum application to be completed, with Italy having the third-largest (48,300) share of pending applications, behind Germany (305,800) and Sweden (56,000).