Germany received more asylum requests in 2016 than the rest of the European Union (EU) combined. In response to the report, the Bundestag vice-president warned Germany’s migrant crisis was not over.
According to the European Commission’s statistical office Eurostat, of the 988,000 applications for asylum made in the EU in the first nine months of 2016 approximately two-thirds were made in Germany, reports Deutsche Welle.
The exact figure, however, cannot be agreed upon by Commission and German agencies with Eurostat putting the number at 612,000, while the Federal Interior Ministry puts it at 658,000.
Of the actual number of asylum requests processed, 756,000 were processed in the EU between January and September 2016, 55 per cent of which were handled in Germany.
Speaking to Die Welt, German Bundestag vice-president Johannes Singhammer said the figures “[make] it clear that the refugee crisis in Germany has not been overcome.”
Die Welt said a number of those reported may already have been in the country prior to January 2016. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s invitation to over a million people to migrate en masse in September 2015, government systems were overwhelmed with many unable to make asylum applications for some months.
The German newspaper reports in the first nine months of 2016, more than a quarter of a million, 272,000, new migrants were registered on the nation’s systems.
However, Denmark saw a sharp decrease in the number of asylum applications, falling from roughly 21,000 in 2015 to 5,300. Denmark’s strict migrant legislation may account for this drop which includes shortening the duration of residence permits and limiting the number of family reunifications.
The Danes have also enacted the ‘Jewellery Act’ whereby cash and valuables can be confiscated from migrants to offset the cost of their care in an effort to relieve the burden on Danish taxpayers.
In December, Mr. Singhammer, member of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), the coalition partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), stated his fear that the number of Syrian migrants in Germany could double due to family reunification alone.
He added, “The burden of family members’ immigration could be higher in the immediate future than the burden of newly arriving Syrian refugees.”