The number of asylum-seekers in Germany has so far dropped significantly in 2016, compared to 2015, when over 1 million came into the country, tz.de and other German media report today, July 9, 2016. By the end of June 2016, there have been a total of 222,264 newly registered asylum-seekers. Germany’s Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizere sees the main reason for the development in the closing of the so-called Balkan Route and the agreement on refugees reached between the EU and Turkey. De Maizere did not want to comment on possible future developments of the refugee situation and described the current state as “labile”.
The numbers of new refugees have been decreasing monthly, in January there were 91,000 and in June “only” 16,000. The majority of the refugees still coming to Germany are from Syria (75,000), Afghanistan (38,000), Iran (9,200) and Russia (5,300).
Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, a member of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU), backed off of his party's call to set a limit on the number of refugees (refugee cap) allowed entering the country, "Rheinische Post" reported today. "The current situation along the Bavarian border is much more relaxed than it was a few months ago," Schmidt said. Setting an upper limit on the number of refugees entering the country "has become unnecessary due to the low migration numbers," he added: "I hope it stays that way."
Gunther Burkhardt, Head of the NGO Pro Asylum said that the new numbers were no reason to celebrate, but reason for concern. He said that refugee shelters in Germany were empty, while refugees in Greece were living on the streets and often don’t even get a chance to register for asylum for months.