German Refugee Influx Slows to Less Than Half of 2015 Pace

  • Merkel’s government says arrivals little changed since April
  • Germany takes in some 222,000 asylum seekers in first half

Germany’s refugee influx is running at less than half the pace of last year, when a record of more than 1 million asylum seekers arrived, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

The number of arrivals in June was little changed for a third consecutive month at about 16,000, bringing the first-half total to 222,264, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Friday. Germany registered 92,000 monthly arrivals as recently as January, before the European Union and Turkey reached a refugee deal championed by Merkel. Syrians filed the most asylum applicants in the first six months of 2016, followed by Afghans and Iraqis.

“The refugee crisis isn’t solved, but we’re making good headway on a solution in Europe and very good headway in Germany,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin.

Declining numbers may ease Germans’ anxiety over migration, which has weighed on Merkel’s popularity as the country gears up for a federal election in 2017. On Thursday, Merkel agreed to increase federal refugee aid to state governments by 7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) through 2018 on top of previous federal commitments.

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