According to a classified internal German government report obtained by the German daily Bild, the German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, an increase from the previous estimate of 800,000 to one million.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the desired destination of many of the hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Europe to escape conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, Africa, and south Asia.
Bild said the German authorities were worried about the risk of a “breakdown of provisions” (“Zusammenbruch der Versorgung droht”) and there already problems procuring enough living containers and sanitary facilities for the new arrivals.
“Migratory pressures will increase further. We now expect seven to ten thousand illegal border crossings every day in the fourth quarter,” Bild cited the report as saying.
“This high number of asylum seekers runs the risk of becoming an extreme burden for the states and municipalities,” the report said.
The internal report also cited concerns that those who are granted asylum will bring their families over to Germany too, Bild said.
The newspaper quoted the report to say that given family structures in the Middle East, this would mean each individual from that region who is granted asylum bringing an average of four to eight family members over to Germany in due course.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Sunday Europe needs to restrict the number of people coming to the continent.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said Germany would grant asylum to those fleeing Syria’s civil war, has recently seen her popularity ratings slump to a four-year low.