World / Europe

1.1m refugees come to Germany in 2015: Interior Minister

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-06 21:29

BERLIN - Germany has registered 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015, announced German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Wednesday.

This is the highest number ever recorded in Germany in the postwar period.

Refugees fleeing war-torn Syria make around 40 percent of the new arrivals, according to official statistics. The Afghans constitute the second-biggest group.

The German government had previously estimated that 800,000 refugees would arrive in Germany in the past year.

Acknowledging the enormous efforts needed to register, house and feed the newcomers, de Maiziere said that the German government would put in 4,000 additional staff at the migration office alone in 2016.

The government would also make a monthly contribution of 670 euros ($719.8) per asylum seeker to help state and local governments in dealing with the massive influx.

At the same time, the minister promised to end the trend of increasing asylum seekers. "We will work in all policy areas towards sharply reducing the number of new asylum seekers to Germany," he said.

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