Germany received 280,000 asylum seekers in a year

Germany has received 280,000 asylum seekers in 2016, the Interior Ministry said, marking a sharp drop from the previous year.

In 2015, at the height of Europe’s migration crisis, Germany took in 890,000 people over three times the number registered the following year.

The 2016 data will set the stage for the general election later this year, in which migration and the integration of newcomers are expected to be key campaign themes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has significantly toughened its migration stance since September 2015, when she opened Germany’s doors to refugees and migrants stranded in Hungary, many of whom were fleeing war in the Middle East.

While praised at the time across Europe for her controversial decision, Merkel suffered in the polls at home as frustration grew over the unabated arrivals.NAN

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