Up to 300,000 migrants ‘expected to come to Germany this year’

Germany is expecting up to 300,000 migrants to arrive this year, the country’s top immigration official has said. The new influx will add to the hundreds of thousands who arrived in 2015 and will add pressure on Angela Merkel’s open door policy as regional elections loom. “We’re preparing for 250,000 to 300,000 refugees this year,” the head of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Frank-Juergen Weise, told a Sunday newspaper. He said his department would struggle to cope if the total was higher but he expected it to be lower.

We’ll present the exact number soon but it’s certain that less than one million people came to Germany last year.

BAMF head Frank-Juergen Weise says the total number of arrivals in 2015 is lower than thought

Meanwhile, Mr Weise said Germany took in fewer migrants in 2015 than previously thought because some were registered twice and others had moved on to other destinations. The total could be well below the widely reported figure of 1.1million. Nonetheless he said it would take a long time and a lot of money to integrate the newcomers into the labor market. He said 70% of the migrants who had already arrived were fit for employment but most of them would be dependent on basic social security provision before they managed to get jobs. His remarks come a day after Mrs Merkel’s vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the challenge of integrating migrants had been underestimated.

I, we always said that it’s inconceivable for Germany to take in a million people every year

Vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel