Germany has accepted one million refugees in 2015

Germany has registered 964,574 new refugees in 2015 so far, four times more than 2014

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Germany is the top destination for people fleeing conflict, repression and misery in the Middle East, Asia and Africa

Official figures have shown that one of the leading economies of Europe, Germany registered 964,574 new refugees in the first 11 months of the year, which puts the country on track for a million arrivals in 2015.

Approximately 206,101 migrants entered the country in just November, which is a new monthly record, higher than previous number of 181,166 in October, according to the interior ministry. 

The data that showed the number of arrivals for refugees fleeing conflict, repression and misery in the Middle East, Asia and Africa did not provide a breakdown of the nationalities.

However, Syrians topped the figures, with about one in three applications coming from citizens of the war-torn country, for whom Germany has adopted an open-door policy.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the numbers of people arriving have eased over the past “one to two weeks” adding that the winter conditions and strict measures on people smugglers in Turkey discouraged refugees from contemplating risky journeys by sea.

The minister said arrivals per day into Germany were now around 2,000-3,000 instead of the previous number 8,000-10,000.

“This is not a turning point, but a good development,” he said at a press conference.

The United Nations refugee agency last week also announced that the number of refugees crossing the Mediterranean to Europe decreased by more than a third in November.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming Syrian refugees received both praise and explicit criticism from some ministers for her warm approach.   

EU parliament chief Martin Schulz, who is a German Social Democrat, blamed the government of running a backlog of more than 300,000 unprocessed asylum applications while the interior ministry indicated that civil servants managed to shorten the processing of asylum demands -the procedure which takes five months- down from seven in 2014.

The minister explained this had been succeeded by accelerating the decision-making process for refugees coming from safe countries of origin (especially west Balkan states) as well as for those from insecure countries of origin (especially Syria).

The asylum procedure for both Syrians and Balkan countries’ citizens has now been shortened to around three months.

Berlin has recently listed some Balkan countries like Albania and Kosovo as “safe of origin”, which means their citizens are not eligible for political asylum under regular circumstances, which gives reason to decrease the number of refugee records from the Balkan countries.

TRTWorld and agencies