Germany's asylum applications are at the lowest since 2015

  • Martin Macq
  • 18.1.2018 17:34

Germany registered its lowest number of asylum seekers in 2017 (186,644) compared to 2016 (208,000), and the beginning of the migrant crisis in 2015 (890,000), said Lothar de Maizière, the German Interior Minister, on 16 January. Last year, 60 people who were considered a threat to national security were refused refugee status.

The closing of the Balkans road and the 2016 EU-Turkey agreement aiming to stop the flow of illegal migrants to Europe, mostly explain this substantial decrease. Since 2015, the migration issue has put strong pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel, received from her own conservative Union bloc, which has led to the current difficulties in coalition talks. On 12 January, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their conservative sister, the Christian Social Union (CSU), reached an agreement with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to fix the annual number of asylum seekers between 180,000 and 220,000. Therefore, the positively received 2017 data on asylum seekers could enable the conservatives and the SPD to move forward in exploratory talks to form a new coalition government – four months after September's general elections. Although the anti-migrant far-right populist group, Alternative for Germany (AfD), have complained about biased data due to figures excluding migrants unregistered to the immigration office.

About author: Martin Macq

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