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France top asylum country in EU

With 42,599 applications the country is the most popular destination in Europe.

2 April 2009

FRANCE is the most popular destination for people requesting asylum, according to a report by a refugee association.

The Office de protection des réfugiés et apatrides (Ofpra – Office for the protection of refugees and stateless people) said more than 42,500 applications were in 2008 – up nearly 20% on the 2007 figure.

Of this number 11,441 were accepted by the association – about 36% of applicants compared to 29,9% the previous year.

France was the top destination in Europe for asylum seekers until 2007 when it was overtaken by Sweden.

The latest figures put it back at the top of the EU and in third place in the world behind the USA and Canada.

Iraqis, mostly Christian, Eritreans and Somalis are those who are most likely to have their requests granted. In 2008 21,525 requests were turned out compared with 23,569 in 2007.

Those nationalities least likely to suceed are Turks, Chinese and nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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