News Local Interior Ministry seeks to shorten asylum application reviews

Interior Ministry seeks to shorten asylum application reviews

 

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Wednesday that the government aims to shorten the time required to review asylum applications and deal with manifestly unfounded applications.

He added that he will present a comprehensive policy for migration and asylum on Thursday.

Speaking during a session of the House Committee on Legal Affairs, which examined four relevant draft bills, Nouris told Committee members that “it is well known that there is a dramatic increase and surge in the number of asylum applicants, as their numbers are very big.”

He said moreover that Cyprus has become a frequent destination for people who are persecuted due to their origin or religion. There are also people who try to reach Cyprus while escaping from war zones, such as Syria and all those who we call refugees, either because they are in the process of searching for better living conditions and certainly those who are economic migrants, Nouris said.

He also noted that there are differences among migrants reaching Cyprus, and made clear that not all of them require the same handling.

“A head of a family fleeing his country to save his family is very different from someone who is sent off at the airport, boards a plane and reaches Cyprus in order to secure a better future” the Minister added.

He referred to the ongoing problem with the Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island, and the systematic channeling of migrant flows through the buffer zone dividing the island, which according to Nouris amounts for almost 75% of total flows to the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus.

Moreover, he spoke about certain “distortions” in the procedures followed by the government and said that they have already started the process to solve this problem. Nouris referred in particular to sham marriages and people who come to Cyprus as students, pointing to the relevant decisions taken by the Cabinet, to be implemented this September.

The Minister also spoke of the “excessive pressure” towards the Republic of Cyprus, caused by thousands of asylum applicants who comprise 3.8% of the country’s population, including people who already enjoy international protection status. We have to address this problem by making our mechanisms more effective, Nouris said.

We want to shorten the time that is necessary to review an asylum application by putting in place these procedures and by implementing fast-track procedures to review manifestly unfounded applications, a procedure also endorsed by the EU, he added.

The Minister of Interior said finally that the government wants to step up returns to safe countries and has launched concrete procedures to do so, while improving its control mechanisms at the entry points of the Republic of Cyprus. A comprehensive policy will be presented on Thursday, Nouris concluded.

(CNA)

Top Stories

166 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 166 new COVID-19 cases on 30 October, out of 3,672 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 4,217. The break-down of new...

Samos island: two children dead from collapse of wall; six dead in Turkey’s Izmir area

Two children died when a wall fell on them on the island of Samos on Thursday, the first reported Greek casualties of an earthquake...

Protest outside Polish Embassy organized Saturday 15.30

A protest outside the Polish Embassy is being organized for tomorrow, Saturday at 15.30 in solidarity to the women in Poland since the government...

Seismologists warn of strong aftershocks to follow Samos earthquake

Seismologists warned that people should expect a series of strong aftershocks to follow the 6.7 Richter earthquake that hit the island of Samos and...

33-year-old arrested for stealing dogs

A 33-year-old man from Larnaca has been arrested in connection with a case of stealing animals. According to the police an arrest warrant was pending...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...