Over 91,000 new asylum seekers to Germany in January

Over 91,000 new asylum seekers to Germany in January
The flow of migrants towards northern parts of Europe continues at full force, according to new figures from Germany.

The total number of adylum seekers to Germany in Janury is 91,671, said the Interior Ministry in Berlin on Thursday.

That is almost 30,000 fewer than in December, but 60,000 more than in January last year.

Throughout 2015, 1.1 million people sought asylum in Germany - and just as many or more are expected to come this year if the current trend continues.

The drop from the end of last year is explained primarily with the freezing European winter weather.

Also further south in Europe there is no sign that the flow of refugees is about to subside. Only in January, at least 62,000 people defied the cold and took the dangerous sea route to Greece from Turkey - as much as 35 times more than in January last year.

While the challenges are increasing with all the refugees, the German government has introduced measures to curb the influx of new asylum seekers, and ensure faster expulsion and return of illegal immigrants and criminals.

Germany has also reintroduced random checks on the border with Austria, and plans to put Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia on the list of countries it is safe to return asylum seekers to.

Germany's Prime Minister Angela Merkel's immigration policy has made her increasingly unpopular at home. In a new poll conducted by the broadcaster ARD, Merkel had support of only 46 percent of the Germans, a drop of 12 percentage points since January.

Moreover, eight of ten German respondents say that Merkel's government no longer has control over the flow of refugees and the immigration policy.

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