Germany Sees Sharp Drop in Migrant Arrivals

Berlin, Germany received 280,000 asylum seekers in 2016, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday, marking a sharp drop from the previous year.
In 2015, at the height of Europe’s migration crisis, Germany took in 890,000 people – over three times the number registered the following year.
“This shows that the measures taken by the government and the European Union are effective,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on announcing the figures.
“We have managed to bring migration under control and steer it,” he was quoted by German press agency (dpa) as saying.
The decline follows the closure of the so-called Balkan route from Greece to wealthier countries further north, as well as a deal between the EU and Turkey to reduce arrivals via the Aegean Sea.
Despite the drop in numbers, Germany is still playing catch-up on registering asylum applications due to a bureaucratic backlog.
The number of applications actually made increased in 2016 to 745,545, compared to 476,676 in the previous year. Many of the 2016 applicants had entered the country in 2015.

Source: Qatar News Agency