The massive inflow of migrants into continental Europe and the countries of the European Union continued largely unabated in 2017, according to statistics recently released by Eurostat. In total, approximately 538,000 asylum seekers were granted protection status last year across the 28 EU member-states.
While this figure represents a decline of almost 25 percent compared to 2016, 12,015 such applications were granted in Greece in 2017 versus 11,370 in 2016, representing a 5.6 percent increase on a year-to-year basis.
Cyprus, in turn, saw a decrease, as 1,300 such applications were granted compared to 2,105 the previous year.
Out of the 12,015 applications granted by Greece in the past year, 42 percent involved individuals from Syria, 14 percent from Iraq, and 14 percent from Afghanistan. Greece also carried a disproportionate burden of such requests versus the rest of the EU, as the 12,015 applications granted represent 1,115 persons per one million people, compared to 1,050 per million throughout the EU.
78 percent of those granted protection status by Cyprus came from Syria, followed by 6 percent from Somalia and 4 percent from Iraq.
The largest number of granted applications in absolute numbers came in Germany (325,000), followed by France (40,600), Italy (35,100), Austria (34,000), and Sweden (31,200). 33 percent of total grantees were from Syria (compared to 57 percent in 2016), 19 percent from Afghanistan, and 12 percent from Iraq.