CEOL - Ten Thousand Seek Refugee Status In Hungary This Year

BUDAPEST, Nov 23, 1999 -- (AFP) Some 10,000 people from more than 70 countries have requested refugee status in Hungary so far this year, the deputy head of the Refugee and Migration Office of the Interior Ministry said Monday. Most of the applicants came from Yugoslavia, followed by Afghanistan, Istvan Erdelyi told the MTI news agency.

A total of 276 people had been granted political refugee status so far and 1,499 had received one-year temporary residence permits, Erdelyi said.

Last year, 362 people received refugee status and 232 were allowed to stay under temporary permits out of a total 7,118 applicants, he said.

In 1997, only 177 foreign nationals asked for refugee status in Hungary, but the number rose after Hungary decided in March 1998 to receive migrants from outside of Europe as well, Erdelyi added.

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