More than 300,000 seek asy­lum in Ger­many in H1

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Ger­many has hosted more than 300,000 asy­lum seek­ers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Satur­day, as Ber­lin pre­pares for a record in­flux of refugees in 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to the con­ser­va­tive news­pa­per, which cited de­tails of a tele­phone con­fer­ence be­tween the in­te­rior min­is­ters of Ger­man states, “302,415 asy­lum seek­ers have al­ready been reg­is­tered” this year.

This fig­ure is higher than the one given by the Fed­eral Of­fice for Mi­grants and Refugees (BAMF) which recorded 258,000 cur­rent re­quests. Ac­cord­ing to Die Welt, this is be­cause the state fig­ures have not yet been picked up at fed­eral level and have there­fore not been con­sid­ered by the BAMF.

Ger­many’s states, which are re­dis­tribut­ing asy­lum seek­ers on the ba­sis of their ca­pac­ity to do so, have re­peat­edly sounded alarms and called for greater fed­eral aid to cope with the in­flux.

The refugees’ of­fice had ini­tially been ex­pect­ing 450,000 asy­lum seek­ers in 2015 but had to re­vise this forecast up­wards to an un­prece­dented 500,000 peo­ple.

In 2014, Ger­many re­ceived more than 202,000 asy­lum re­quests, or 60 per­cent more than in 2013.

And ac­cord­ing to Der Tagesspiegel news­pa­per, unof­fi­cial “in­ter­nal num­bers” at the BAMF sug­gest as many as 600,000 asy­lum ap­pli­cants in 2015.

On Fri­day, BAMF Pres­i­dent Man­fred Sch­midt re­ported a “record” monthly in­flux in July, with 79,000 asy­lum seek­ers, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Be­cause of its good eco­nomic health, Ger­many has be­come the lead­ing des­ti­na­tion in Europe for mi­grants, es­pe­cially for those flee­ing poverty, war and per­se­cu­tion.

A huge in­flux is not with­out prob­lems in some ar­eas, es­pe­cially in vil­lages and small towns in eastern Ger­many where few for­eign­ers live.

Over­all since the start of the year, vi­o­lent in­ci­dents against homes or fu­ture homes of refugees have in­creased sharply: 202 be­tween Jan­uary and June, as many as there were in all of 2014, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

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