One of the little news items from Channel One (ARD) from yesterday is a statement by the German Interior Minister (de Maiziere) that immigrant numbers per month are spiraling downward.
From January, there were around 92,000 asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees.
From February, there were around 61,000.
From March, there were around 20,000.
For 2016 so far, the total is around 181,000. If you remember the statistical number for all of 2015, it was 1.1 million.
If the trend would hold steady at 20,000 per month....this would actually be the average that existed prior to 2013....and considered 'normal' for Germany. With that normal trend for the rest of the year and the bump-up for Jan/Feb.....Germany could be sitting at 350,000 at the end of year. Well....maybe.
It is pointed out that for this first quarter of 2016, it's double of what came in for the same quarter of 2015. So, it's hard to say how one should review the numbers.
Politically, they really need that 350,000 number to be the high-end for the year.....or face a tough challenge for the national election in 2017.
The odd thing that de Maziere mentioned? There are roughly 400,000 refugees in the line and no decision by the state agency on whether they can stay or they have to leave. These....are people left over from 2015. These are people sitting in various camps and refugee centers around Germany.....perhaps for six to eight months, and having some hope that they will be granted a visa.