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Up to 800,000 asylum seekers will come to Germany

Staff writer ▼ | August 24, 2015
Up to 800,000 asylum seekers will come to Germany this year, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said on Wednesday when presenting a refugee prognosis for 2015.
Germany asylum seekers
Immigrant crisis   Germany is challenged, but not overwhelmed
That would mean about four times more people than last year. Germany is challenged, but not overwhelmed, the minister declared.

This is the highest number of refugees since the Second World War. The reasons for the increase include armed conflicts and political persecution. A weakening of this trend is currently not expected.

For the first time, there has been a slight decrease in asylum migration from the Western Balkan countries. However, it is too early to speak of a trend reversal, Federal Interior Minister de Maizière declared when presenting the 2015 refugee prognosis.

The rising numbers are "a challenge for us all which we will take up together," de Maizière said. He announced that the federal and state governments were setting up a coordination staff that will begin its work on Monday. The minister added that "the time has come to explore new avenues, to find pragmatic solutions".

Another so-called "refugee summit" has thus been planned for September 24. Moreover, four decision centres will be put in place throughout Germany to deal mainly with pending asylum procedures.

The growing number of asylum seekers and refugees poses a "formidable challenge" to Germany, Federal Chancellor Merkel had said in her summer interview with the German public broadcaster ZDF.

The Federation, the Länder and local authorities must work together to find common answers. "But we cannot find them if we work in the normal mode," Merkel stressed. "We must try to mobilise all personnel reserves."

Within the European Union, Germany is by far the country taking in the most asylum seekers. All European countries must meet their responsibilities, the minister said: "Europe has to prove itself as a community of solidarity". Germany cannot, on a permanent basis, take on 40 percent of all refugees who arrive in Europe, he stressed.

De Maizière noted that many of the refugees who come to Germany will stay. "We have to welcome and integrate them", said the minister. However, those with no prospects of being granted the right to stay in Germany must leave the country.