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Germany takes 1/3 of all EU asylum applications

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A refugee woman and her children are escorted through Frankfurt station by police in August. Photo:DPA
11:33 CEST+02:00
More than one in three asylum seekers across the European Union applied for refugee status in Germany in the second quarter of 2015, figures released by the Brussels statistics authority showed on Friday.

German authorities received 80,900 applications of the 213,200 made across the EU between April and June according to Eurostat data published on Friday morning.

That was an 11 percent increase over the 73,120 applications made between January and March, compared with a 15 percent jump across the entire Union.

Germany was far from being the country that saw the largest proportional increase, with applications increasing by 159 percent in the Netherlands, 123 percent in Latvia and 79 percent in Austria.

Finland and Denmark also saw bigger increases at 67 percent and 66 percent respectively.

Hungary was the European state with the largest number of asylum seekers relative to its population, at 3,317 per million inhabitants.

That was streets ahead of Austria at 2,026, Sweden at 1,467 and Germany at 997 per million.

Germany has largest backlog

Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had previously reported that in the year to August the country had received a total of 213,302 first-time applications, of which around a quarter were from Syria at 55,587.

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That was a larger share than the European total of 21 percent of asylum applicants from Syria.

BAMF president Manfred Schmidt resigned on Thursday for "personal reasons", although some political observers believe he has been been pushed out.

Under his leadership, the BAMF has been struggling with a backlog of 276,000 applications – 52 percent of the EU total of 592,000 pending decisions - way ahead of Sweden at 56,000 or 9 percent of the EU total and Italy at 48,300 or eight percent of the EU total.

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