Up to 300,000 refugees could arrive in Germany this year, the head of the country's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has said. Frank-Juergen Weise told Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the office would struggle to cope with the numbers if more came to the country. He added that he was confident that the number of people arriving would stay within the estimates. More than a million people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa arrived in Germany last year.
In the first six months of this year, at least 390,000 people applied for asylum in the country, according to the interior ministry. However, it is not clear how many of these refugees arrived in the country in 2015.
Weise said the country would try to get as many people as possible into the job market but added that the integration of the migrants into German society will take a long time and cost a lot. A recent poll showed that over half of Germany's population thought Chancellor Angela Merkel's migration policies were harmful to the country.
Amid the surging influx, support for far-right anti- immigrant groups has gone up. On Saturday, 27 August, members of a far-right group scaled Berlin's Brandenburg gate and put up a banner to protest against what they say is the "Islamisation" of Germany.
In July, four high-profile attacks took place in Germany over a period of six days. More than 40 people were injured and 10 killed in Munich, Ansbach, Wurzburg and Reutlingen. Three out of the four attacks were traced to migrants who moved to Germany recently, two Syrian and one Afghan. The fourth one was of Afghan-German descent.
Despite the wave of attacks, Merkel has rebuffed calls to reverse her welcoming stance towards refugees. She said the attacks were shocking but added that the assailants 'wanted to undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need'.