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July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'

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An asylum seeker reception centre in Trier. Photo: DPA
17:05 CEST+02:00
More people applied for asylum in Germany in July than in any previous month on record, the Ministry for Immigration and Refugees announced on Friday.

The 79,000 asylum applications lodged in July made it the month and “all time record” said Ministry for Immigration and Refugees (BAMF) president Manfred Schmidt.

At the end of August, BAMF is set to update its forecast for asylum-seeker numbers for 2015 with current estimates lying at around 450,000.

Schmidt said his priority was to speed up the "return" of asylum applicants from southeast Europe, so that their cases will been closed within six to eight weeks of their arrival.

"We will concentrate in the first place on Albania," he said.

Within a few weeks "over 30,000 asylum applicants arrived from Albania with a protection rate of 0.1 percent," he said.

At the moment 209,000 asylum applications are being processed, of which 94,000 are from the Balkans and 40,000 are from Syria.

According to migration researcher Dietrich Thränhardt, inefficiencies in the German asylum system are to blame for the backlog. In comparison with the rest of Europe, Germany has a much larger backlog than any other country, he said, with little sign that this is about to change soon.

In June the number of unfinished applications was twice as high as in 2014, with cases slowed by drawn-out revocation processes and "Dublin" examinations – investigations into where asylum-seekers first entered the European Union.

Revocation processes take place three years after an initial asylum request has been granted and look at whether the individual still meets the conditions for asylum to be extended.

“In Germany there are as many open applications as in the rest of Europe put together,” said Thränhardt.

New attack on planned asylum centre

A planned accommodation for asylum seekers in Chemnitz in Saxony was attacked with molotov cocktails early on Friday morning.

Intelligence chief fears escalation

As yet another refugee home came under attack early on Friday morning, Germany's top intelligence chief has warned that anti-refugee violence in Germany has "come to a head."
 
Molotov cocktails were thrown at a planned asylum home in the Saxon town of Lunzenau early on friday morning, reports Der Tagesspiegel.
 
It was the second attack on the unoccupied building within the past few days.
 
Around 50 refugees were due to live in the home from September onwards, Tagesspiegel reports.
 
Attacks on refugee homes have been increasing in recent weeks – and Hans-Georg Maaßen, President of the German Intelligence Agency, has warned of further extreme right attacks on refugees.
 
"The situation has come to a head in the past few weeks," he told Focus.
 
He added that "targeted attacks on occupied refugee homes" could soon occur in which casualties are involved.

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"There have been over 200 acts of violence against refugee homes in the first half of this year alone," he said.
 
"These show the extent to which the xenophobic atmosphere among certain sections of the population has heated up."

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