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EU sees increase in asylum seekers: report


11:27, July 09, 2013

BRUSSELS, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The number of asylum seekers in the European Union amounted to 335,000 last year, an 11-percent increase from 2011, according to the annual report released Monday by the European Asylum Support Office.

The EU member states granted protection to 28 percent of those asylum seekers in 2012, showing a moderate rise from 2011. Greece, Luxembourg, Sweden and Italy formally requested support from the office in 2012, according to the report.

Balkan countries continued to represent the bulk of the applications for asylum, although only four percent of those were considered by member states as well-founded. The number of applicants from Afghanistan exceeded 28,000, which continued to be the largest from one single country.

Syria showed biggest increase in the number of applications last year, and over 95 percent of its applications were accepted by EU member states. Other high recognition rates were noted for citizens of Eritrea, Mali and Somalia, said the report.

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