President of refugee authority steps down
The president of Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has handed in his resignation, the government said on Thursday.
An Interior Ministry statement said that Manfred Schmidt had made the decision "for personal reasons".
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said that in Schmidt, the BAMF was losing a leader who had done "outstanding work".
But the BAMF has come under criticism from across the political spectrum in recent months for its slowness in processing asylum applications.
The Nuremberg-based authority has a backlog of around 250,000 applications.
"The dramatically increased numbers of asylum seekers in Germany have set a huge challenge for the BAMF as well as for states and local authorities," the statement read.
Schmidt had been president of the BAMF since 2010 and "has always acted in a level-headed and prudent way", it continued.
So far there is no news of a successor to Schmidt at the head of the BAMF.
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