German costs for asylum-seekers drop sharply

14th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2004 , WIESBADEN - The number of foreign asylum seekers receiving support fell to its lowest level ever last year, data released on Tuesday showed. The figures drawn up by the Federal Statistics Office come as a debate continues to rage in Germany about integrating the nation's large foreign population.

14 December 2004

WIESBADEN - The number of foreign asylum seekers receiving support fell to its lowest level ever last year, data released on Tuesday showed.

The figures drawn up by the Federal Statistics Office come as a debate continues to rage in Germany about integrating the nation's large foreign population.

According to the figures, at the end of 2003 Germany provided social welfare support to 264,240 persons, down by 5.2 percent from a year earlier and the lowest figure ever since statistics began to be kept in 1994.

The office said the net cost of the support provided the asylum- seekers came to EUR 1.35 billion, down 8.8 percent from 2002 costs.

The data show that the number of asylum-seekers receiving state support in Germany is well down from the peak of 490,000 registered in 1996.

The office said that of the 264,000 asylum-seekers accounted for in its 2003 data, 53 percent were younger than 25 years. As to origin, 47 percent were from Europe, with 29 percent alone accounted for by persons from Serbia and Montenegro.

Other major groups of asylum-seekers receiving state support included those from Turkey (9 percent), Iraq (6 percent) and Afghanistan (5 percent), the statistics office said.

The figures showing a continuing downturn in the numbers of foreign asylum-seekers and the costs of supporting them come amid an ongoing debate about Germany's relationship with the foreigners in its midst. Right-wing groups with an anti-foreigner agenda often try to make an issue of the costs of asylum-seekers.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

0 Comments To This Article