Published On: Sat, Dec 9th, 2023

EU country drowning under asylum seekers as 267k granted ‘temporary protection’ this year | World | News

Germany has extended temporary protection to more than 260,000 asylum seekers so far this year as Berlin struggles to manage applications.

The latest figures from European Union data service Eurostat show Germany granted temporary protection to 77,130 asylum seekers in the third quarter of 2023. This brings the total for the year to 267,230, according to Eurostat.

The rich European nation is a top destination for migrants from around the world, but shelters in the country have been filling up and the government is under pressure to curb numbers and speed up deportations of rejected asylum seekers.

In recent weeks, Germany also started carrying out systematic checks on its borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland to keep irregular migrants from entering the country in the first place. Germany recorded a rise of more than 70 percent in asylum applications up to November this year, despite Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s attempts to bring the numbers down.

Under former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership, Germany welcomed asylum seekers at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, with thousands fleeing war in the Middle East.

But Berlin is now battling to curb irregular migration with cuts to benefits and caps on the number of asylum applications given the green light. Chancellor Scholz said earlier this year that the number of refugees trying to get into Germany was too high “at the moment”, adding: “This cannot go on.”

A tipping point was reached in the wake of Russia widening its attack on Ukraine in February 2022. That saw Germany automatically grant asylum to about a million Ukrainians fleeing the fighting, at a time when the economic fortunes of Europe’s industrial powerhouse were starting to sputter.

Europe’s largest economy saw annual inflation fall to 2.3 percent in November from 3 percent in October. But it is now dealing with a budget crisis — on top of being the world’s worst-performing major economy in terms of growth.

Figures from Statista show the overwhelming majority of immigrants in Germany last year were Ukrainians, with a total of 1,097,882. This dwarfs the next highest numbers, including Romania (204,637), Poland (107,060), Turkey (81,108) adn Bulgaria (71,835).

Political parties from across the spectrum have recently started talking tough about migration, which was once a preserve of the conservatives and the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

With Germans due to go to the polls in June next year, Chancellor Scholz is ramping up his rhetoric in contrast to his predecessor whose mantra was “we can do this”.

Rising support for the Far Right in Germany has prompted Mr Scholz’s coalition government to toughen its stance, including by speeding up deportations.

Steffen Heibestreit, Mr Scholz’s spokesman, said in October: “It is clear that we have to restrict irregular migration and to send back more quickly the people who have no right to stay.”

Source link

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>