Geir Moulson, Associated Press, January 16, 2018
The number of asylum-seekers arriving in Germany dropped significantly to some 186,000 last year, but the country’s interior minister said Tuesday he still considers that figure “much too high.”
Last year’s total of 186,644 new asylum-seekers registered in Germany compared with some 280,000 in 2016, the year when the Balkan refugee route used by many migrants was largely shut down. And it was far below the peak of 890,000 in 2015, when the influx of people from the Middle East and elsewhere was at its height.
“In a European comparison, and above all considering how people are coming to us, I think this roughly 185,000 (figure) is much too high,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.
He wouldn’t say what figure would be acceptable, but called for better protection of the European Union’s external borders, checking would-be migrants before they arrive in Europe, and addressing the causes of migration.
Germany is prepared to do its part to help people who genuinely deserve protection, “but it can’t be the case that we take in as many vulnerable people as the other European countries together,” de Maiziere said, alluding to some other nations’ continued reluctance to take in refugees.