Returning Iraqis find Europe "difficult" to stay, IOM says

Xinhua News Agency


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday reported that Iraqi migrants to Europe, who have opted to return to Iraq, have done so because of asylum delays, inability to support themselves and disappointment with Europe.

"The study, based on interviews in Europe, and with Iraqis who returned home, said returnees reported that life in Europe had been idealized and that the reality was more difficult than expected," Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.

The agency said it had assisted some 9,600 Iraqis to return home last year and through June of this year, but the total number was assumed to be higher because many return without IOM help, he said.

Over a similar period, the Greek authorities registered more than 112,000 Iraqis arriving in Greece alone.

"The IOM said the main reasons to return to Iraq were extended waiting time for asylum application processing, compounded by uncertainty about the outcome of asylum applications and inability to support themselves; disappointment with the overall experience in Europe; and unexpected need to return to Iraq due to tragic or exceptional family events," the spokesman said.