In Germany number of asylum seekers dropped by 70 percent in 2016

Source: The Local

The number of asylum seekers who came to Germany in 2016 was roughly one third of the number in 2015, according to new figures released by the Interior Ministry on Wednesday. In the past year, significantly fewer asylum seekers came to Germany compared to 2015 – about 610,000 fewer in fact, according to the Interior Ministry. In 2015, around 890,000 had arrived in the country seeking refuge, compared to 280,000 in 2016.

“This shows that the measures taken by Germany and Europe have been effective,” said Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party.

“We have been successful in regulating and controlling the immigration situation.”

A major reason for the drop in the number of asylum seekers is the closure of the so-called Balkan route in March. The EU also last year agreed to a controversial deal with Turkey to take in recognized Syrian refugees from the country, if Turkey would take back those who leave its shores to enter the EU without permission. The German government also designated some western Balkan countries as “safe”, thus making it more difficult for their citizens to gain refugee status.

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