Almost half a million formal asylum applications were registered in Germany last year. The 476,649 applications made in 2015 dwarf the 273,515 made in 2014, and represent a sharp increase of more than 135 per cent in 12 months.
However, “the actual number of people [in Germany] for the purpose of applying [for asylum] is significantly higher”, explained German Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, commenting on the new figures.
The real number is so much higher because the application process is lengthy and currently overwhelmed, plus many migrants avoid registering so they can move to their preferred destination firsts.
“This huge influx has presented us with challenges, as we have not seen since the immediate postwar period,” added Mr. de Maizière.
The annual data from the the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees reveals that just 34 per cent (162,510) of this year’s half a million asylum seekers were from war torn Syria.
In August, Angela Merkel famously suspended the Dublin agreement and welcomed every Syrian to Europe, even if they had been living safely in a peaceful nation for years.
Numbers began rising sharply immediately after her declaration, which probably had something to do with the fact that there were 395 per cent more Syrians applying for asylum in Germany in 2015 than in 2014.
Two Balkan nations were number two and three in the top ten countries of origin, with a 575 per cent and a 315 per cent annual increase in applicants from Albania and Kosovo respectively – countries which have not been at war since 1999.
There was also a massive increasing in arrivals from Muslim countries other than Syria. A 100 per cent increase from Pakistan, a 229 per cent increase in those from Afghanistan, and the number from Iraq rose by 230 per cent.
Macedonia also made it into the top ten, and Eritrea was the only nationality from which fewer migrants applied for asylum this year than last.
Germany’s finance minister warned in November 2015 that an ‘avalanche’ of migrants had been triggered, which would go on for half a decade.
According to the calculations of Heinz Buschkowsky, a member of Chancellor Merkel’s ‘grand coalition’ of parties who has written extensively on migration, Germany should expect up to 10 million migrants by 2020, which would include many asylum seekers.