Migrant Crisis: Germany Sees Massive Drop in Asylum Seekers
Germany says 280,000 asylum seekers arrived there in 2016, a drop of more than 600,000 on the previous year, the BBC reported.
The German interior minister said that the decrease was due to the closure in 2016 of the Balkan route and the migrant deal between the European Union and Turkey.
The record influx of 890,000 people came as migrants and refugees travelled through Greece and the Balkans.
They headed for Germany after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered a temporary open-door asylum policy.
Her decision to suspend EU rules on registering asylum seekers in the first EU state they entered was aimed at the growing number of Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, but large numbers of people of other nationalities made the journey too.
Migration has become a heavily politicized issue in Germany ahead of federal elections in the autumn. As voters punished her CDU party in the regional polls last year, Merkel acknowledged that the migrant crisis could have been handled better.
"This shows that the measures that the federal government and the European Union have taken are taking hold," said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. "We have been successful in managing and controlling the process of migration."
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