BERLIN: Germany registered 964,574 new asylum seekers in the year’s first 11 months, official figures showed Monday, as Europe’s top economy appeared on track for a million arrivals in 2015.
Some 206,101 migrants arrived in November alone, a new monthly record, up from the previous high of 181,166 in October, according to the interior ministry.
The number of arrivals was four times the total for all of 2014.
Nevertheless, the ministry said the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees had managed to shorten the time it takes to process the newcomers from an average of around seven months in 2014 to five months this year.
This has been achieved by prioritising and speeding up procedure “for asylum seekers for those from safe countries of origin (especially west Balkan states) as well as for those from particularly unsafe countries of origins (especially Syria),” the ministry said.
The data released Monday did not specify the nationalities of the new arrivals.
But in previous months Syrians have topped the figures, with around one in three applications coming from citizens of the war-torn country, for whom Germany has adopted an open-door policy.
At the same time, Albanians and Kosovans have also counted among the top five groups of arrivals for the year a trend that has alarmed the German government.
Berlin has recently listed these states as “safe countries of origin”, meaning their citizens would not normally be eligible for political asylum, a move that has brought numbers from the Balkans countries down sharply.