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Number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany sharply reduced

Part of the decrease thought to be related to the European Union’s recent agreement with Turkey

Baku. 8 April. REPORT.AZ/ The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany sharply decreased in the first quarter of this year, the government announced on Friday, Report informs referring to the foreign media.

New arrivals dropped more than 60% in the three months compared with the last quarter of 2015 to 170,000 from more than 500,000, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told reporters in Berlin.

This year’s slowdown in migrant flows has relieved some of the political tension that arose in the wake of the refugee crisis last summer and autumn. After about 1 million immigrants arrived in the country last year, worry swelled that the country wouldn’t be able to keep up if the number of arrivals maintained the same pace into this year.

Mr. de Maizière said he would only be able “to answer precisely in summer” how many asylum seekers were expected to arrive in Germany in 2016. Last year, the government had to repeatedly raise its estimates after grossly underestimating the migrant flow.

Part of the decrease in arrivals has to do with the EU’s agreement with Turkey to return migrants who cross the Aegean Sea to Europe illegally, Mr. de Maizière said, adding that he didn’t “know how the EU Turkey agreement will develop in the long run.”

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