Germany cuts its migration to 200,000
Germany expects to welcome less than 200,000 new migrants this year, the country's interior minister says.
"At the end of November we were around 173,000 and I calculate for the whole year we will be under 200,000 migrants," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
The number in 2016 was around 280,000, while a year earlier the number of migrants sat at 890,000, as especially asylum-seekers from Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country.Bethlehem peace light arrives in Germany
The drop in the number of migrants is likely due to the sealing off the so-called Balkan route for asylum seekers from the east, as well as the European Union's refugee deal with Turkey. Maritime efforts to stop migrants reaching Europe from northern Africa in boats have also been intensified.
German authorities have also recently introduced new financial incentives to encourage asylum-seekers to return to their countries of origin.