Germany records 181,000 asylum applications in first quarter
Migrants queue in the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) as they wait to register in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2015. German authorities are struggling to cope with the roughly 10,000 refugees arriving every day, many fleeing conflict in the Middle East. The government expects 800,000 or more people to arrive this year and media say it could be up to 1.5 million. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Germany registered 181,405 asylum applications in the first three months of this year, the Interior Ministry said on Friday, adding that the figure marked a 112 percent rise compared with the same period in 2015.

The big jump in applications is due to the fact that most of the more than one million migrants who arrived in Germany last year were first registered at shelters where they wait for weeks or month before they can file an asylum application.

The number of arrivals has dropped to a trickle in March as the Balkan route through southeastern Europe is virtually shut. This compares with some 10,000 people who entered the country each day at the peak of the crisis in late summer last year.

But because of the huge backlog of migrants waiting in shelters to apply for asylum, German authorities recorded some 60,000 such applications in March, an 87 percent rise compared with March 2015 and an 11.5 percent drop from February.

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