Published March 29, 2023 at 12.06
Foreign. The government of Cyprus is asking the EU for help after illegal Third World immigration to the country increased very sharply.
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Just last year registered the small island nation over 21,500 asylum applications.
The number of asylum seekers staying in Cyprus has increased by 490 percent since 2016, according to Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou.
The minister has called on the EU to launch a Union-wide action plan for to stem the flow of illegal immigrants using the increasingly popular so-called Eastern Mediterranean route to Europe.
The figure given by Constantinos Ioannou suggests that over half of the 42,831 immigrants who, according to Frontex's official figures, used the route in 2022 ended up in Cyprus, writes Remix News.
The 55,000 Third World immigrants who arrived in Cyprus since 2016 correspond to 5 percent of the country's 1.24 million inhabitants. There has therefore been a noticeable change in the country's demographics in a short time, and the Third World population is now a standing – in many places dominant – feature of the streetscape.
The migrant camps in the country are now overcrowded, and several incidents last year resulted in riot police being deployed at the Pournara reception center near the capital Nicosia to break up fighting between rival groups from Congo and Nigeria.
The large influx in recent years has led to an increasingly negative attitude towards immigrants and asylum-seekers from the Cypriot side, according to a recent UNHCR study.
“The size of Cyprus, the possible changes in the island's demographics and the fear of criminal/violent behavior continue to be the main concerns of the public regarding refugees and asylum seekers,” the report says.
An increase in “xenophobia and racism from the local population” has, according to the report, resulted in a “significant negative change in attitudes towards integration” between 2018 and 2022. A large proportion of Cypriots now believes that the Third World immigrants lack the will to integrate into Cypriot society.