Asylum-Seeker Numbers On The Rise In Germany

Asylum seeker numbers on the rise in Germany

Deutsche Welle

The number of people seeking asylum in Germany is expected to rise by 10 percent in 2010, says the Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), after the government said Wednesday that more than 25,000 applied this year.

German media has reported that the country is set to see an increase in the number of asylum seekers in 2010, according to the Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The office said the number of asylum applications could rise by around 10 percent.

The office said most of the asylum seekers would arrive from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, according to public broadcaster ZDF.

BAMF said that unstable security situations and economic strains in Afghanistan and Iraq were the main reasons for people fleeing those countries, while in Iran, government repression was a leading cause for people seeking a new life.

With 2009 coming to a close, Germany has recorded accepting more than 2,000 Iraqi refugees, whom it has housed at its Friedland border transit camp in the state of Lower Saxony.

Applications increase

Iraqis made up the vast majority of people seeking asylum in Germany in 2009, with the Interior Ministry logging more than 6,200 applications for asylum status from January to November. In second place were asylum seekers from Afghanistan with around 3,000 applications.

The ministry said a total of 25,429 people applied for asylum in Germany in the first 11 months of this year. That figure represents a 15 percent increase compared to the number of applications for all of 2008.

One year ago European Union Interior Ministers pledged to take in up to 10,000 refugees from Iraq, with Germany saying it would accept as many as 2,500.

Most of those accepted are persecuted minorities, particularly Christians. The refugees are first processed at the Friedland facility then relocated throughout Germany's 16 states.

Editor: Andreas Illmer