Not One Asylee in Međimurje County, Only 15 in Istria, Rijeka

By 5 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 5, 2019 - The highest number of asylees in Croatia, 620, are accommodated in Zagreb and the lowest in counties reputed as multicultural, which points to the weakness of the state's policy, Večernji List daily said on Thursday.

Since 2015, Croatia has granted international protection for 696 people, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Interior Ministry data, asylum has been granted for 620 and subsidiary protection for 76 applicants. The government has also met its 2015 and 2017 obligations to take in 250 Syrian refugees relocated from Turkey as well as adopting a third decision to take in up to 150 citizens from third countries in a show of solidarity with other EU member states, the newspaper said.

As expected, the largest number of asylees is in Zagreb, but it is surprising that Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties, reputed as multicultural and tolerant, have taken in only 15 people, Večernji List said.

The state has the duty to integrate asylees into society so that, while keeping their culture, they can accept the values and norms of Croatian society and it them. However, Croatia does not have a migration policy and until now has not dealt with the integration of a larger number of foreigners from third countries, so integration is being implemented based on government action plans for the integration of refugees and asylees, the paper said.

It also mentioned the findings of a government survey showing that the lowest support for asylee rights, the highest expectation of negative change and the least willingness to help come from the people of the Dalmatia coastal region and eastern Croatia, while Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties and central Croatia have more positive views.

Willingness for close contact with asylees is lowest in Dalmatia and eastern Croatia, and highest in the northern Adriatic and central Croatia, Večernji List said, adding that it was therefore surprising that only 11 asylees have residence in Istria County and only four in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. Eighty-seven asylees reside in Sisak-Moslavina County, 43 in Zadar County, 42 in Brod-Posavina County, 34 in Zagreb County, seven in Split-Dalmatia County, six in Varaždin County, one in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, while there is not one asylee in Međimurje County.

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