Tags: EU | Europe | Migrants

Germany: 222,000 Asylum-seekers Arrived in Year's First Half

Friday, 08 July 2016 05:29 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Some 222,000 asylum-seekers arrived in Germany in the first half of this year, the government said Friday — reflecting a much-reduced influx after the route through the Balkans was largely blocked and the European Union cut a deal with Turkey to cut arrivals by sea.

Last year, nearly 1.1 million people were registered as asylum-seekers in Germany. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said he isn't making any forecast for how many will arrive in 2016, given uncertainty about future developments.

In all, 222,264 people were registered as asylum-seekers between January and June. The numbers declined sharply after 91,671 arrived in January. In June, the figure was 16,335, similar to the previous two months.

Syrians were the largest single group, accounting for 2,615 people in June and 74,511 in the year's first half, followed by Afghans.

De Maiziere pointed to central European countries' squeeze on the overland Balkan route and the EU-Turkey deal to reduce migrant landings in Greece as the main factors in the drop. He said the number of people arriving via the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy was roughly at last year's level, and that "Italy is behaving correctly" — registering them all and not simply waving them through to other countries.

However, de Maiziere said the situation is "unstable."

"The implementation of the agreement between the EU and Turkey is working so far, but I wouldn't guarantee that this will also remain the case in the coming months," he told reporters. "And developments on the Balkan route could worsen significantly."

The minister said that, while the Balkan route is now closed to large groups of people, smugglers are getting small groups across borders. He added that there are increasing — though still small — numbers of arrivals from Italy via Switzerland, and that there also has been an increase in asylum-seekers from Russia's Chechnya region.

Russian citizens, some arriving from Poland, were the fourth-biggest group of arrivals in June.

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Some 222,000 asylum-seekers arrived in Germany in the first half of this year, the government said Friday - reflecting a much-reduced influx after the route through the Balkans was largely blocked and the European Union cut a deal with Turkey to cut arrivals by sea.Last...
EU,Europe,Migrants
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2016-29-08
Friday, 08 July 2016 05:29 AM
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