Although 2020 was a year when traveling was blocked since mid-March, Albanian citizens have again found a way to go to Europe and seek asylum.
Eurostat reported today that there were over 5 thousand asylum applications for the first time from Albanian citizens in European Union countries and Switzerland. Compared to a year ago, demand has dropped by about 70% as a result of the constraints created by the pandemic.
France continues to be the most preferred country for Albanians to seek asylum, due to the better social treatment of immigrants. In total, there are about 2 thousand applications from Albanian citizens for asylum in France, or 39% of the total. Compared to a year ago, applications have shrink by 76%.
Greece is the second EU country that expects more asylum applications from Albanian citizens, with about 1 thousand, or 20% of the total. Then comes Germany with 16% of the total; Italy, with 9%, Belgium with 5.3%.
Sweden is another destination where Albanians try to apply to obtain documents as asylum seekers (190 applications, or 4% of the total).
Ireland is another country that has sparked interest in the last two years, with 40 applications in 2020.
In the whole world, Albania is ranked 23rd in the number of asylum applications, but since its population is low, in relation to the population, Albania is ranked second after Syria. While in the Balkans it remains the first in absolute value.
Data for 2020 are missing for the United Kingdom (already out of the EU), where in 2019 there were 3,900 applications. While in Switzerland there were 45 applications, from 130 in 2019./abcnews.al