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08/12/2016

Confirmation: Germany welcomed 1 million refugees in 2015

Justice & Home Affairs

Confirmation: Germany welcomed 1 million refugees in 2015

The Berlin borough of Neukölln is nearly fifty percent Muslim, and is a magnet for Syrian refugees.

[Joel Schalit/Flickr]

The number of refugees to arrive in Germany in 2015 exceeded the 1 million prediction that was made in the midst of the crisis. EurActiv Germany reports.

The confirmation could strengthen Horst Seehofer’s demand for a cap on numbers. Today (6 January), the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) leader will meet with the Chancellor, Angela Merkel (CDU), where they are both expected to discuss refugee policy.

>>Read: The cruel fate of the youngest refugees

Reuters learned from government sources that the number of refugees registered in Germany’s database stood at 1.09 million by the end of 2015. In December alone, 127,320 people arrived in the country.

The Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, had already said at the end of the year that November’s estimate of 800,000 for 2015 was obsolete.

Merkel and Seehofer to lock horns?

Figures provided by Bavaria’s interior ministry show that the number of refugees entering the southern German state had increased tenfold. According to Bavarian police, between 26 December and 4 January, 33,300 refugees arrived.

Now, Angela Merkel will meet behind closed doors with the Christian Democratic Union’s sister-party, the CSU, at Wildbad Kreuth in southern Bavaria. The traditional beginning of year meeting of the CSU chairman and his fellow party members will welcome the Chancellor for the first time.

Seehofer is calling for an annual upper limit of 200,000 to be instigated. Merkel is bracing herself against accepting any such limitation, and has repeatedly refused to set such limits in the past. The CSU chief has publically called Merkel to task on the subject on a number of occasions, only to find himself rebuffed.

>>Read: Illegal border crossings hit record highs

Merkel received support for her stance on the issue at her party’s conference in mid-December. However, a number of Christian Democrats expressed the opinion that refugee arrivals should be reduced.

In addition to Merkel, the CSU has also invited the head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Frank-Jürgen Weise, to their meeting. He is expected to attend on Friday (8 December).