Rome, Oct 1 (IANS/AKI) Requests in Italy for asylum protection have soared by 74 percent in 2015 over the similar period in 2014, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has said.
Over half of these requests (51 percent) have been rejected, while five percent of migrants who requested asylum obtained refugee status and 16 percent secured other forms of protection, Alfano said on Wednesday.
Over 330,000 migrants reached Europe by sea in the first eight months of the year, including 120,000 in Italy, according to data cited by the Paris-based think-tank Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development last week.
Half a million illegal border crossings were detected in the same period — almost double the level during the whole of 2014, the OECD reported.
Europe is facing the largest immigration influx since the Second World War. A record one million people will seek refuge in Europe this year, fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.