ATHENS – Some 200 Syrian refugees, including those on a hunger strike outside the Greek Parliament for 10 days should be granted asylum, City of Athens officials said.
The municipality said in a statement that it is clear that the Greek state “is unprepared for providing war refugees with the things that international treaties demand, such as shelter and medical care.”
Greece grants asylum only to about one in 10,000 applicants and has come in for criticism for its treatment of illegal immigrants, many of whom have fled Mideast conflicts or arrive on rickety boats from Africa.
There are children in the group and Athenian officials said the government fast-track the asylum process for the protesters, Some hunger strikers have fainted and been taken to the hospital, it was reported.
During a news conference at Syntagma Square on Nov. 28. the Syrians also asked to be given the right to leave Greece. An Interior Ministry official has met with the refugees and informed them about their asylum rights, which are almost non-existent.
Under European Union law, refugees can apply only in the country in which they land and can’t move. “The only solution for ourselves and our families is to have the right to go to another country to start a new life of dignity for our children,” said Nander Halbuni, a representative of the group, according to Agence France-Presse.