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130,000 refugees ‘vanished’ in Germany: Berlin

27 February 2016 15:56

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Berlin says the whereabouts of some 130,000 refugees registered by Germany are unknown, a figure which is equivalent to 13 percent of the total arrivals last year.

On Friday, the German government said in a parliamentary document that about 13 percent of the 1.1 million refugees registered last year did not show up at reception centers “to which they had been directed.”

The written document was in response to a question posed by a Left Party lawmaker the previous day.

The document says that some refugees may have returned to their home countries, travelled to a third nation or “gone underground.” It added that repeated registrations for the same individuals may be the cause for the new statistics.

This is while German officials say Berlin has little success in sending back refugees to the European Union states they had initially arrived at after leaving their homelands.

According to the country’s migration office, the identities of 400,000 refugees in the country also remain unknown.

On February 25, the German parliament approved new restrictive measures aimed at speeding up the processing of refugees and containing the influx of newcomers into EU states, which have been witnessing an unprecedented level of refugee arrivals from mostly African and Middle Eastern countries.

Under the new measures, refugees fleeing war and violence will be distinguished from economic asylum seekers. Convicted foreigners will also be rejected or dismissed more easily.

This comes as xenophobic attacks on refugees by extremists have been on the rise in Germany.

Germany is expecting 2.5 million refugees to arrive over the next five years.

Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, forcing more people to flee their homes.

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