Politicians from the CDU and CSU are calling for the influx of migrants to Germany to be curbed noticeably. "The goal must be to limit the number of asylum applications to well below 200,000 per year," said Alexander Throm, the spokesman for domestic affairs for the Union faction in the Bundestag, the "Bild" newspaper.
Last year, almost 218,000 applications were made nationwide - more than since 2016. The Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) told the same newspaper that Germany was taking in an above-average number of refugees compared to other European countries.
However, the capacity is "not unlimited". "We don't have any number of accommodations and our society's ability to integrate must not be overwhelmed," said Herrmann.
Almost 218,000 asylum applications last year
According to figures from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), 217,774 people in Germany applied for asylum last year - 47 percent more than in the previous year. Most came from Syria (70,976), Afghanistan (36,358), Turkey (23,938), Iraq and Georgia. In addition, one million war refugees from Ukraine were admitted without having to apply for asylum.
The chairman of the CSU parliamentary group in Bavaria, Thomas Kreuzer, told the "Bild": "200,000 is a limit that we mentioned years ago. Our experience shows that we are not able to attract more people to Germany in the long term to be integrated every year. It definitely has to be less, since we are currently accommodating, supporting and integrating all the war refugees from Ukraine, and rightly so."
Counties: Refugee housing reaches limits
According to their own statements, the districts have long since reached their limit when it comes to housing refugees. "The number of people housed in emergency shelters, in tents or gymnasiums continues to rise," said the President of the district council, Reinhard Sager, on Wednesday. The federal government must therefore limit the influx.
Saxony's CDU parliamentary group leader Christian Hartmann said: "It is not possible to permanently take in 200,000 people every year." Instead of talking about specific upper limits, however, one should rather "talk about the consistent implementation of the deportation of those who are obliged to leave the country. Federal Interior Minister Faeser is responsible for this."