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Germany sees dramatic drop in asylum seeker numbers

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Germany sees dramatic drop in asylum seeker numbers

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The influx of people seeking asylum in Germany has fallen sharply, government figures show.

Around 220,000 people sought refuge in the first six months of this year compared to half a million in late 2015.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the EU’s controversial deal with Turkey to tackle Europe’s refugee crisis had started to kick in but warned of future risks.

“The implementation of the agreement between the EU and Turkey is working so far, but I wouldn’t guarantee that this will remain the case in the coming months, and also developments on the Balkan route could worsen significantly,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said.

In addition to the EU’s deal with Ankara, which aims to stop sea arrivals landing in Greece, tough new asylum rules in Germany and border closures throughout the Balkans have helped stem the flow.

Last year Germany took in more than one million people, mainly fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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