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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-03-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus ranked first among 44 countries as regards asylum applications per 1000 inhabitants between 2006 2010, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

    The UN Refugee Agency released its 2010 statistical overview of asylum applications in 44 industrialized countries. The 44 industrialized countries included in the report are: The 27 European Union countries as well as Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    The report deals with new asylum claims and does not show how many individuals were granted refugee status.

    According to the report, between 2006 2010, asylum applications in Cyprus reached 24.5 per 1.000 inhabitants. This figure places Cyprus in the first position among the 44 countries as regards applications per 1.000 inhabitants. Cyprus is followed by Malta with 19.1 applications per 1.000 inhabitants, Sweden with 15.2, Lichtenstein with 14.2, Norway with 11.1. The US received in the same period 0.8 applications per 1.000 inhabitants, Greece 7.5, Turkey 0.6 and Australia 1.3.

    According to data for 2010, Cyprus ranks second between the 44 countries, as regards applications per 1000 inhabitants. In 2010 Cyprus received 3.3 applications per 1000 inhabitants. Sweden ranks first with 3.4 applications. The US received 0.2 applications per 1000 inhabitants, Greece 0.9, Turkey 0.1 and Australia 0.4.

    In real numbers, asylum applications in Cyprus between 2006 2010 show a decrease. The exception is 2007 and the two last months of 2010. In 2006, 4.550 people applied for asylum, in 2007 their number rose to 6.790, in 2008 it was 3.920, in 2009 it was 3.200 and in 2010 it reached 2.860. In total, asylum applications between 2006 and 2010 in Cyprus reached 21.320. The annual change between 2009 and 2010 was -11%.

    The monthly asylum applications in Cyprus for 2010 show an increase between November and December of 39%. Applications in November 2010 reached 350 while in December their number rose to 485. In January 2010 applications reached 207, in February 212, in March 192, in April 178, in May 211, in June 233, in July 213, in August 172, in September 189, in October 217, in November 350 and in December 485 applications.

    The top ten populations of origin of asylum applicants in Cyprus in 2010 were Iraq, India, Vietnam, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, China and Nepal.

    The number of asylum-seekers in the industrialized world continued to fall in 2010, bringing the figure down to nearly half the level at the start of the millennium.

    According to the report, 358,800 asylum applications were lodged in industrialized countries last year - down 5 per cent from 2009, and some 42 per cent lower than the decades peak in 2001, when almost 620,000 asylum applications were made.

    Last year`s total number of new asylum claims was the fourth lowest in the last decade. Year-on-year decreases were reported in most regions, including Europe, North America and North Asia.

    Within Europe, the largest decline was seen in southern Europe, where claims fell by 33 per cent compared to 2009. This was mainly because fewer people requested protection in Malta, Italy and Greece. However, this decline was offset by increases elsewhere, especially in Germany (49%), Sweden (32%), Denmark (30%), Turkey (18%), Belgium (16%) and France (13%). In the Nordic countries, the increases in Denmark and Sweden were offset by substantial declines in Norway (-42 per cent) and Finland (-32 per cent).

    Among continents, only Australasia saw more asylum claims compared to 2009. Among individual countries, the United States remained the largest asylum recipient for the fifth consecutive year. France maintained its position as host to the second-largest number of new applications. Sweden and Canada ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

    Together, the top five countries of asylum accounted for more than half (56 per cent) of all asylum applications covered in this report.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet on Wednesday morning in the framework of the UN-backed direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem. The meeting will be held at the residence of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus, in the UN-protected area of Nicosia Airport.

    In statements after the previous meeting, on March 23rd, President Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side had submitted a precise proposal for a population census in both communities that will be monitored by the United Nations and under its aegis. The President noted, however, the opposition of the Turkish Cypriot side to such a move.

    He added that there is a special UN census department and recalled that the UN Secretary-General had stated, during their last meeting in Geneva on 26 January, that he was ready to help towards this direction.

    If we do not know the numbers and how many Turks from mainland Turkey have the so-called citizenship of the Turkish Cypriot regime, we will not be able to get into the depth of the issue. We are ready, the UN has said it is ready to help towards this, but unfortunately, we have again problems with the Turkish Cypriot side, the President said.


    The Department of Antiquities has announced the completion of the sixteenth and seventeenth period of excavations at the Medieval Sugar Mill of Kolossi, Limassol District.

    According to an official announcement issued on Tuesday, the main aim of the 2009 excavation season was the completion of investigations within the ellipsoidal stone construction that had been investigated in 2008, as well as the extension of the excavation towards the south.

    Excavations in the south uncovered a retaining wall (1,50 m. wide), possibly associated with restoration work of a later date. The pottery is fairly homogeneous as seen by the preponderance of sherds belonging to clay vessels related to the filtration of sugar and also a small number of the Lapithos workshop glazed ware sherds.

    Excavations also focused on the southwestern limits of the excavated site where the sugar mills westernmost wall to date was found to extend in a southerly direction. Although pottery is scarce here, some sherds belonging to a glazed bowl were found as well as a green glazed sherd and two bricks with traces of intense burning. It is clear that the west walls extension is a later addition, as seen by the appearance of the natural bedrock which bears a cutting forming a channel.

    The main research aims of the 2010 season of excavations were the continuation of investigations in the southern area of the site and the removal of part of a later wall, which constitutes the southern extension of the northern wall of the rooms where the crushing of sugar took place. This wall sits above the abandonment layers of the sugar producing workshop.

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