France registered a record number of asylum requests in 2017, when Albanians topped the list despite far slimmer prospects of obtaining refugee status than people from war-torn places such as Syria or Afghanistan.

A more than two-year long migration crisis has caused immigration to become a major political issue in many European countries, including France. Official asylum requests rose 17 percent to exceed 100,000, the highest "in at least four decades", according to Pascal Brice, head of France's refugee office (Ofpra).

"This is not a massive inflow and we are capable of handling the situation," Brice told CNews television on Monday.

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