The number of people seeking asylum in Switzerland jumped 47 percent last year to a record 35,836, a senior refugee official has said.
One-fifth of the foreigners applying for refugee status in 1990 were from Turkey, the official, Peter Arbenz said Tuesday. Yugoslavs and Lebanese each accounted for 15 percent of the total, while Sri Lankans made up 13 percent.Arbenz said that so far this year 3,000 foreigners have applied for asylum, and most were from Yugoslavia.
The large number of refugees had brought on an acute accommodation crisis, he said. The government is considering reinforcing border police with army units to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants.
Only 883 people were granted refugee status last year, just under five percent of all applications, Arbenz said. Another 4,879 foreigners were given temporary residence permits for humanitarian reasons, he said.