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12 irregular migrants picked up in Peristerona

October 9, 2019 at 8:05am
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Twelve irregular migrants — 10- men and two youths — were picked up in Peristerona early on Wednesday morning after they were spotted wandering in the community at around 4.20 am, the Cyprus News Agency said.

All are male. Two are under 18. All are Syrian.

They have been transferred to the Kokkinotrimithia temporary accommodation centre.

Cyprus authorities say they are struggling to cope with a spike in asylum seekers which relative to population size is the highest in the European Union.

Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides has spoken of an unprecedented increase of over 130% in new asylum applications in Cyprus compared to the already high number recorded in 2018 and described the situation as “extremely challenging”.

On Tuesday, Cyprus, Greece and Bulgaria called for the establishment of a functioning common European return mechanism, as Member States alone cannot be effective only through unilateral action.

A large number of the asylum seekers come from across the Green Line and others come by sea.

Cyprus has signed an agreement for a permanent European Asylum Support Office (EASO)  intended to better help authorities here deal with a spike in asylum applications, the first EU Member state to sign and implement such an agreement.

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