Simon Kent, Breitbart, September 3, 2015
Immigration into Germany last year hit its highest level for 20 years, with nearly 1.5 million people entering the country, and nearly one million people leaving. The number of people claiming asylum seeker benefits jumped by a staggering 61 per cent, the German Statistics Office (GSO) said on Thursday.
The news comes as a poll published Wednesday showed support for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party slipping for the second week in a row on the back of the ongoing European migrant crisis.
According to the GSO figures, net migration stood at 550,000, meaning that many more people moved to Germany in 2014 than left. The majority were from Europe, mostly from Poland. Liberal asylum laws and generous benefits make Germany the EU’s biggest recipient of people seeking asylum.
Overall a total of 1,465,000 people immigrated to Germany in 2014. This was an increase of 238,000, or 19 per cent, from 2013. Based on provisional figures, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that such a high level of immigration was last recorded in 1992 (1,502,000 people).
Meanwhile a total of 914,000 people departed from Germany in 2014–116,000 (or 15 per cent) more than in the previous year. The resulting migration surplus of 550,000 people, the balance of arrivals and departures across Germany’s borders, is also the highest since 1992.
This year numbers are likely to be driven higher again by people arriving from the Middle East and Africa, tens of thousands of whom are entering Germany after a journey across the Mediterranean and a landfall in Greece or Italy. We are already seeing part of that human flood tide make their first demands on Germany for benefits, housing, freedom of movement and future acquisition of German passports which will also enable free travel across the Schengen zone.
A Forsa poll put Merkel’s conservative bloc down one percentage point on 40 per cent after a two-point dip last week, which the pollster blamed on divisions within her party on the third bailout for Greece.
In a hypothetical direct vote, Merkel came out one point lower than last week. However, on 52 per cent, Merkel–one of Germany’s most popular post-war chancellors–is still some 37 points ahead of SPD Chairman Sigmar Gabriel.