1.2 million sought asylum in Europe in 2016

Indo Asian News Service

Strasbourg, March 17 (IANS/AKI) A total 1,204,000 people applied for political asylum in Europe last year, 53,000 fewer than in 2015, the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat said.

Syrians were the largest group of asylum-seekers (334,800) in 2016 followed by Afghans (183,000) and Iraqis (127,000), Eurostat reported on Thursday.

Most asylum requests (60 per cent) were made in Germany, 10 per cent in Italy, 6 per cent in France, 4 per cent in Greece and 3 per cent in Austria, Eurostat said.

Overall asylum requests in Europe last year were almost twice the number made in 2014 (562,700), according to Eurostat.