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About 150 asylum applicants registered in Slovakia for December 2008

About 150 asylum applicants were registered in Slovak asylum centres in the last month of 2008, Interior Ministry Migration Office told TASR on January 5.

About 150 asylum applicants were registered in Slovak asylum centres in the last month of 2008, Interior Ministry Migration Office told TASR on January 5.

Slovak offices registered 845 applications for asylum between January and November 2008 with most applicants coming from Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Moldova, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some African states. The number of asylum seekers from China has fallen.

Last year, asylum was given to 16 foreigners and supplementary protection was granted to 51 foreigners. For comparison, Slovakia registered more than 11,000 applications in 2004 and 2,643 in 2007. According to the Migration Office, the falling number of asylum applications is mainly connected to the improving security at state borders since Slovakia became a part of the Schengen zone in December 2007.

According to the Migration Office, Slovakia still is not a primary target country for migrants. Foreigners rather try to get to the old "EU15" countries, such as Austria, Germany, Belgium and Holland. These are traditionally migration destinations where migrants have been establishing their own communities for decades, news wire TASR wrote.

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The incident, which claimed one fatality and at least 18 injuries, also created an emergency in a Slovak village close to the Austrian border.

The explosion of Austrian natural gas station in Baumgarten, December 12.

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The incident, which claimed one fatality and at least 18 injuries, also created an emergency in a Slovak village close to the Austrian border.

The explosion of Austrian natural gas station in Baumgarten, December 12.

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