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New high in asylum seeker expulsions

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New high in asylum seeker expulsions
Rejected asylum seekers board a plane to be returned to Serbia and Macedonia in December 2014. Photo: DPA
08:44 CET+01:00
Germany expelled more asylum seekers than at any time in the last eight years in 2014, with the number expected to climb even higher this year as more refugees arrive from the world's conflict zones.

New government figures from a parliamentary answer show that 10,884 people were expelled in 2014, the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Last year's figure is the second in a row to pass the 10,000 mark after 10,198 people were removed from the country in 2013.

The country has not yet reached the heights of 2006, when 13,894 people were expelled, but with 300,000 asylum applications expected in 2015, the number of applications refused is expected to rise in step.

In 2014 the country received 202,834 asylum applications – already a 60 percent increase over the previous year.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees said that the civil wars in Syria and Iraq and the Ukraine conflict would be the main drivers of 2015's increase in migration, pushing “significant rates of increase” in numbers.

There are currently around 100,000 “tolerated” people – whose asylum applications were rejected but who have not been expelled - living in Germany.

Ministers want to open new ways for them to secure the right to stay in the country if they have been here for several years, have good knowledge of German and are able to support themselves, although there are plans to tighten the residency law in other areas.

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