The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece dropped 80 percent in 2020, according to an annual report by the Migration Ministry published on Tuesday.
Presenting it in parliament, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said the 25-page report presents data collected by all the agencies involved in handling migration, including refugee reception centers and the asylum service.
According to the numbers, arrivals fell 87 percent in the Greek islands and 62 percent in Greece’s northeastern border region of Evros.
The country’s asylum service issued some 106,000 decisions last year, of which 33 percent concerned refugee status approvals. Even though undecided asylum cases were reduced by 43 percent in 2020, some 80,000 decisions are still pending, the minister said.
The ministry aims to clear its backlog by the end of 2021.
At the same time, the number of refugees and migrants accommodated in various housing facilities throughout the country was reduced from 93,000 to 65,000 last year, after the government closed 57 hotels in 2020. Another three such hosting facilities have so far been closed in 2021, Mitarakis said.
(A version of this article was originally published by Kathimerini and reproduced by permission.)