Sharp drop in migrant arrivals in Germany

  • 11 January 15:43
  • 64

Some 280,000 migrants arrived in Germany last year, a stark reversal in numbers after the country received nearly 890,000 people during the 2015 migration crisis, according to year-end government figures released on Wednesday.

"Developments show managing and controlling migration has been successful," Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere said in a statement on year-end figures compiled by the Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

In the spring of last year, the Balkan route used by migrants to reach Europe was closed and the EU-Turkey migration deal reducing crossings across the Aegean Sea went into effect, significantly reducing the number of new arrivals in Germany.

But the number of asylum applications rose to 745,500 last year, including from migrants who arrived in 2015 but did not formally apply for protection until 2016.

Of those applications, the government made around 700,000 decisions, five times more than in 2014. The increase signals German authorities have increased their capacity to process asylum applications after coming in for criticism in 2015.

cw/ls (dpa, Reuters, AFP)