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Sweden to stop asylum expulsions to Greece

TT/The Local/vt · 10 Dec 2010, 15:51

Published: 10 Dec 2010 15:51 GMT+01:00

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The UN has also noted the "squalid overcrowded facilities" and inhumane conditions for refugees in Greece.

As a result, the court has deemed the treatment of asylum seekers in Greece as unacceptable and has halted Sweden from sending back refugees who first set foot in the EU there.

The actual case facing the Swedish court concerns a family of three who will now have their asylum applications examined in Sweden instead. Since the court's decision is a precedent, it means that asylum seekers who find themselves in Sweden and have a transfer decision to Greece cannot be sent there.

"However, that does not mean they get a residence permit, only that it should be examined here in Sweden instead," Catharina Lindqvist, a judge at the court, told news agency TT.

Transferring asylum seekers to Greece is incompatible with the alien act and could constitute a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, the court stated in a ruling on Friday.

According to the court, the conditions that asylum seekers in Greece face are unacceptable.

The court's criticisms did not mince words. In many cases, it was not even possible for asylum seekers in Greece to submit an application for asylum. If an asylum seeker succeeded in submitting an application, it was highly uncertain that the trial would be legally reliable.

"There is a great risk that their applications are not examined if they apply there," said Lindqvist.

The court also pointed out the grim conditions that are in place for those who come to Greece.

"We have established that the reception is very poor. They do not have housing or food and can be forced to live in parks. This results in a number of sanitary difficulties," said Lindqvist.

The asylum system and reception in Greece have further deteriorated as the country's debt crisis has become increasingly acute. The UN, the courts, humanitarian agencies have also slammed the reception the refugees receive in Greece.

"The asylum process as such in Greece does not live up to the standard that one is entitled to expect of a country that has an obligation to comply with EU regulations," the court said, calling the treatment "inhumane."

In October, UN special rapporteur Manfred Nowak called conditions for migrants in Greece too "inhumane" because of "squalid overcrowded facilities," a poorly trained police force and a sharp increase in the number of migrants.

The European Commission has threatened several times to take Greece before the European Court of Human Rights. The court is currently reviewing several migration matters relating to Greece.

Story continues below…

It is estimated that Greece faces about 50,000 untested asylum cases. Out of over 30,000 asylum applications in Greece last year, only 36 individuals were granted refugee status, while 128 had protected status.

In early November, the Swedish National Migration Board (Migrationverket) halted all transfers of asylum seekers to Greece under the Dublin Regulation with the expectation that the court would put its foot down.

Under the European Union's much-criticised Dublin II regulation, illegal immigrants must be sent back to the country where they entered the EU.

About 75 percent of more than 40,000 people caught illegally entering the EU in the first half of this year did so through Greece.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:47 December 10, 2010 by Swedish123
Asylum seekers! When Sweden and other European Countries going to open their eyes, they want to live in the best social welfare system wining money from tax payers. Wake Up Sweden!
18:52 December 10, 2010 by si
also please include Swedish123 in the expulsion as this would increase the average IQ level for Sweden
19:14 December 10, 2010 by Ravioli
Swedish123 is exactly right. Enough is enough!
20:20 December 10, 2010 by asian123
Asylum seekers! When Sweden and other European Countries going to open their eyes, they want to live in the best social welfare system wining money from tax payers. Wake Up Sweden!

i agrees 100%

they are parasites to swedish welfare system.
21:08 December 10, 2010 by olevilla
Any one coming to live in Sweden should have some means of supporting themselves not expect to live on taxpayers' sweat!! And why Sweden anyway? You would think that the way Sweden is labelled as having cold, unfriendly people, no one would would like to come here voluntarily!! But NO, they are tripping over themselves to get into Sweden..THEN immediately start criticizing the very people that are working to support them!
21:12 December 10, 2010 by Syftfel
This of course now means that Sweden will be even more overburdened with throngs of, euphemistically named, "asylum seekers". And Sweden will be asked to foot the bill. Swedish tax payer be damned! But why don't we tell the Greeks that Sweden will take them if Greece pays. What does EU say about Greece's failure to uphold the minimum standards of humane conditions for these "asylum seekers", at least until they (those who are not true asylum seeketrs)can be shipped back where they came from? I think Greece should send them to Bulgaria which is a lot closer to Greece, rather than to ship them way up North. How does Bulgaria handle its "asylum seekers"? - One would think that that eventually there is a capacity problem for every noble intent. Don't you people on the liberal left realize this????
21:29 December 10, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
Asian123 was once upon the time a parasite now he has a resident permit so he thinks his biologic nature has changed??

People are not parasites, infact they have run away from war.

I used to be naive towards Iraqis until I saw Wikileaks i began to love Iraqis.

So lets not judge.

again Asian whatever I chose the softest words so I dont hurt you.

Its not easy to work in Sweden and We are a rich country dont worry about Welfare USA is contributing the Petrol share and other share with us since we support their war on iraq and Afg.

So relax since they pump money to us we dont take Iraqis in for free 1 trilion US and more is spent on war because there is 100 folds more money in those countries...STOP BEING IGNORENT SWEDEN123 what are you doing on this English news?? I wonder
22:11 December 10, 2010 by Swedish123
Hey si. I´m Swedish and they are living at mine taxes.
22:33 December 10, 2010 by TwoToTango
And now, everybody will suddenly have arrived through Greece.
00:10 December 11, 2010 by superturbo
Thanks for wasting even more of my hard earned tax money on more of this nonsense. The politicians in this country must be among the dumbest and most naive ones in the whole world....
00:17 December 11, 2010 by Ranjit T Edward
Comment: @OnessOfMankind: This moron (...123)has been around the last couple of weeks ranting the same line in the most inappropriate discussions. What I have observed is that no one takes notice of him. My gut feeling is, he probably is living off tax-payers. Just that the mutt cannot seem to stand anyone else doing the same. A good lamp post whipping might do him some good.
01:01 December 11, 2010 by Toonie
Nice rants. As usual.

Just a few facts. I lived in Greece when it received 250,000 migrants from former communist countries in 2 years and it has been swamped by refugees from various conflicts ever since. It's a country that itself once experienced a forced exchange of populations with Turkey with over a million people arriving in Greece with mostly nothing. Greece is at the epicentre of geopolitics. You have no idea how much that country has been screwed over by foreign powers. But as individuals they are honest about what goes on in their country.

Sweden, on the other hand, is on the periphery of world events. Be grateful for that.

I now live in the UK. 1% of Sweden's population lives in London, but you don't hear too much whining from Londoners about them taking jobs and soaking up benefits. (Though I was in a supermarket recently and heard a British citizen of Caribbean origin complaining about all these EU migrants.)

I also lived in Sweden and I know how much benefit cheating goes on there - by Swedes. Until the Swedish government has the guts to even talk about the scale of that, I suggest you all stop attitudinising about the rest of the world.
01:23 December 11, 2010 by Swedish123
Sweden is Sweden not America, the war in Iraq is America problem. The truth is immigrants especially arabs are living with the money of tax payers, thats not integration and costs money, i have familly in Malmo and i know what immigrants did there: violence off all kind, i have a friend that works at Interpol and according to Interpol Sweden has the highest tax of rape since we are "open and generous" back in 50´s 60´s in Sweden rape was something that just didn t exist and you know why? Because there was not immigrants! I am from that time so i know what I´m talking about. Rich Country! Hey learn something: Good things come to end very quickly, thats deffinetly the big america plan 1 iraqui for petrol. Wake up we dont need those kind bullshit plans by filling this wonderful country with iraquis in change of petrol. "Is not easy work in Sweden" What kind of person are you? Are you Swedish? I´ve worked in my beloved country Sweden for almost 40 years and I still work and believe me is the best country for work, but when it comes to immigrants well let´s say that most of them especially Arabs for them is very difficult to work, is better living without working winning money from people whoo work(tax payer).
09:01 December 11, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
The overall situation in Sweden is good and that's why immigrants and refugees

are still streaming in to Sweden " land of The Mid Night Sun " and now the truth hurts.So,carry on complaining until your throats sore and you'll only receive more

refugees and immigrants and now most native Swedish would want Jimme

Akesson and the Sweden Democrat to stop all this nonsense.Well,make up your

mind which party would look after the interest of native Swedish more or should I

say,more truthful to the Swedish.
09:56 December 11, 2010 by Ranjit T Edward
@Swedish123: I am sorry for not being too clear in my message ...123 was not you!!!! Check inbox please!
12:42 December 11, 2010 by truthworthy
Great. The Local seems to be the place where bigots gather. I know you arrogants aren't Swedish so stop claiming you are one.
15:25 December 13, 2010 by ccb

How do you think Europe became the 'superpower' it is now. History blatantly shows via free labour called slaves and by colonising various places and 'raping' them of their resources. Pillaging and taking what was not rightfully theirs. It was the thing of the times, divide and conquer and build and empire. That is exactly what occurred. So now the poor persons who's ancestors were so viciously wronged are looking to try to make a better life for themselves after years of fighting just to stay alive. Fighting over the little resources they have been left. Do you actually think it is right that some children don't have any food to eat or clean water to drink so you can relax in front of you flatscreen tele while playing with your iPhone deciding where to 'fika' i morgon. Then you want to make other persons seem like savages. Think about who is the savage. Really think about it!
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