Germany asylum-seekers
Germany absorbs around 40% of all refugees arriving in the EU Reuters

The number of refugees seeking asylum in Germany surged by 125% in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2014, fresh figures reveal.

The interior ministry also forecast a record 800,000 migrants at Germany's borders for the whole year – four times the number of asylum applications received in 2014 and nearly double the all-time high of 438,000 in 1992.

The figure represents nearly 1% of Germany's population of 81 million and is a dramatic upward revision of the government's previous estimate of 450,000 asylum requests.

Germany cannot, on a permanent basis, take on 40% of all refugees that arrive in Europe.
- Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere

It came as German authorities described the surging migrant influx as Europe's biggest challenge and called on other EU states to take in more refugees.

Germany absorbs around 40% of all asylum-seekers arriving in the EU – more than any other member state in the 28-nation bloc.

'Embarrassment for Europe'

The interior ministry revealed on 19 August that 218,000 people had lodged claims for asylum in Germany in the January to July period, more than the 202,000 requests received in the whole of last year.

It said the surge was driven by conflicts in Syria and Iraq and economic hardship in the Balkans.

In July alone, applications jumped 5% from a year ago to a record high of 34,300.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the influx of migrants into the country is likely to stay high "for the next few years" and called for action from Europe to deal with the crisis.

"Germany cannot, on a permanent basis, take on 40% of all refugees that arrive in Europe," German broadcaster Deutsche Welle quoted him as saying.

"This is a challenge for us all. We all need to make an effort.

"Tomorrow, I will consult my French colleague in Berlin about the way forward."

Around 40% of all asylum requests in 2015 came from Balkan countries such as Albania, Serbia and Kosovo, according to the minister.

"This is unacceptable and an embarrassment for Europe," he said.

The remarks echoed similar calls by German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who told the Bild tabloid that it was a "disgrace" that the EU was not able to secure a more even distribution of refugees across its member states.

Record migration

Meanwhile, EU border agency Frontex said the number of migrants at the region's borders crossed 100,000 in a single month for the first time since it began keeping records in 2008.

It reported 107,500 asylum-seekers in July, the third consecutive monthly record and well over the 70,000 migrants recorded in June.

Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri said in a statement: "This is an emergency situation for Europe that requires all EU member states to step in to support the national authorities who are taking on a massive number of migrants at its borders."