• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3
Govt denies plan to cut refugee numbers by half
Refugees arrive at the train station in Passau, Bavaria, after passing through Austria in November 2015. Photo: DPA

Govt denies plan to cut refugee numbers by half

DPA/The Local · 16 Feb 2016, 10:54

Published: 16 Feb 2016 08:43 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Feb 2016 10:54 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Rheinische Post reported early on Tuesday that the Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière had ordered the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees to be prepared to process 500,000 asylum applications this year.

But an Interior Ministry spokesman later told The Local that "there is no specification [of the number of refugees] from the Interior Ministry and no new forecast [of refugee arrivals]."

What's more, the 500,000 figure directly contradicts BAMF head Frank-Jürgen Weise, who said last week that he expected to deal with more than a million cases this year.

500,000 would be a massive decrease compared with the number of refugees who arrived in 2015, with the final count standing at 1.1 million.

The Rheinische Post further reports that 370,000 files are still awaiting processing at the BAMF.

And there are up to 400,000 refugees who arrived in 2015 who have not yet been able to submit an application because of the backlog.

Workers at the BAMF – which has taken on large numbers of extra staff since the uptick in refugee arrivals – might be able to reduce the number of outstanding cases if the government can really keep arrivals down to 500,000.

Crunch EU summit this week

Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to make progress towards reducing arrivals at a European summit on Thursday and Friday.

Leaders of the 28 EU nations are gathering to discuss the refugee crisis, with Germany hoping to secure beefed-up protection for the Union's external borders, faster work to create "hot-spot" registration centres in Greece and Italy, and a system to share out refugees among different countries.

But she faces stiff resistance from Greece, which says it has not received the resources it needs to act as Europe's front-line in the refugee crisis, and eastern European nations including Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, which are highly resistant to taking refugees.

Even France has in recent days begun showing a tougher face, saying that it would not take any more refugees than the 30,000 it had already agreed.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is heading to Brussels with a very different agenda, hoping to lock down a new deal for Britain that will convince his country to stay in the European Union at a referendum expected this year or next year.

Talks to avoid a Brexit are likely to last deep into the night and could distract from the refugee question.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Today's headlines
Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

How new German rules are holding refugee families apart
Children wait for food in Jarablus, Syria. Photo: DPA

Germany, trying to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees, has placed high hurdles for them to be reunited with their families, creating a Kafkaesque nightmare in the courts.

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Photo: DPA

Fire up your ovens and get ready to bake - here are ten festive German cookies and pastries that'll send your senses into paroxysms of yuletide joy.

5 things we learnt reading Germany's first Charlie Hebdo
Photo: DPA.

The very first German edition of Charlie Hebdo hit the shelves across the country on Thursday. So what can Germans expect if they buy it?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,627
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd