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Germany says it expects less than 200,000 migrants this year

Europe
17.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Germany expects to welcome less than 200,000 new migrants this year, the country‘s interior minister said Sunday.

"At the end of November we were around 173,000 and I calculate for the whole year we will be under 200,000 migrants," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The number in 2016 was around 280,000, while a year earlier the number of migrants sat at 890,000, as especially asylum seekers from Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country.

The drop in the number of migrants is likely due to the sealing off the so-called Balkan route for asylum seekers from the east, as well as the European Union‘s refugee deal with Turkey. Maritime efforts to stop migrants reaching Europe from northern Africa in boats have also been intensified.

German authorities have also recently introduced new financial incentives to encourage asylum seekers to return to their countries of origin. The money can be used for rental or building costs, or even for household items.

De Maiziere said however that since the start of December, only 200 applications for money have been received, mainly from people from Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure is set to continue until February.

"The costs of this step are much lower if you compare them to the price of keeping these people in Germany for a long time," the minister told the newspaper.

 

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