Serbia says will take back failed asylum seekers

3rd March 2010, Comments 0 comments

Serbia Tuesday vowed to take back failed asylum seekers after Belgium raised alarm about a sudden surge of applicants following the lifting of EU visa restrictions.

BELGRADE - "We will react and explain to citizens ... that fake asylum seekers will be repatriated as agreed in the re-admission accord," Interior Minister Ivica Dacic told Blic daily.

The minister said he had only heard stories of an influx of Serbian asylum seekers in Belgium, saying it concerned some 300 people.

Last week Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said he was worried about "a phenomenon of sudden immigration" of Albanians from Macedonia and southern Serbia going to Belgium "to benefit from help offered to asylum seekers".

Serbian Albanian member of parliament Riza Halimi told the Beta news agency here that he estimated that between 5,000 and 10,000 ethnic Albanians from the southern Serbian regions of Bujanovac and Presevo left for Europe in the past months in the hopes of finding a better life.

In December the European Union lifted visa restrictions for citizens of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia who are now allowed to travel freely into the Schengen zone which covers a majority of EU countries.


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