France has become the European country with the most asylum applications, for the first time since the start of the migration crisis in 2015, the interior minister said Thursday in Paris.
"France has since October 20 become the first country in terms of asylum applications in Europe, although entry into Europe continues to decline. It is a statistical anomaly that we must work on," said Minister Christophe Castaner after a meeting with his Georgia counterpart on migration cooperation.
Four years ago, at the height of the migration crisis, France registered 80075 asylum applications, while Germany received 890 thousand, ten times more.
According to an official source from the French Interior Ministry, quoted by AFP, on the 17th of this month there were 120900 asylum applications in France, while Germany had 119900.
The same source told France-Presse that such data may be justified by the fact that migrants were unable to obtain asylum elsewhere by requesting France.
France has already announced that it will even go ahead with introducing quotas for economic immigration and changing rules on asylum applications.
For those entering France seeking asylum or seeing their visa expire, the period of free access to the health system will be reduced from one year to six months, with a grace period of three months until Social Security can be accessed in the country. – excluding minors, who will have universal access.