Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf reaffirmed plans to tighten asylum procedures on Sunday as the number of applications in Switzerland increases.This content was published on October 11, 2009 - 14:20
By the end of the year Swiss authorities will have received 17,500 asylum applications, the minister said. That is 2,500 more applications than originally expected.
"Switzerland is for many people their last hope," Widmer-Schlumpf said in an interview with the Sunday Zentralschweiz newspaper. Most reach the country through Libya and Italy.
The justice minister said the system needs to be faster in reaching decisions on asylum applications. To do that, the minister has proposed doing away with turning down applications without considering the substance of the case.
That can happen when an asylum seeker cannot produce certain documents within 48 hours of arriving in the country, for example. It can also lead to asylum seekers remaining somewhat in limbo while their applications are appealed.
swissinfo.ch and agencies