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Germany expects a maximum of 300,000 refugees in 2016: Official

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Frank-Juergen Weise, the head of Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees, gestures as he gives a press conference in Berlin, April 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

An official in Germany says the country expects a maximum of 300,000 refugees to have arrived in the country by the end of 2016.

Frank-Juergen Weise, the head of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), made the announcement in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, saying, “We’re preparing for 250,000 to 300,000 refugees this year.”

Weise said if the number of the people arriving in Germany exceeded the estimated figure, his organization would come under pressure, adding, however, that such a scenario would be unlikely.

Reports said Germany registered some 1.1 million refugees last year, a figure that Weise contested in his interview.

“We’ll present the exact number soon but it’s certain that less than one million people came to Germany last year,” he said.

Weise said that 70 percent of the refugees who had entered the European country were fit for employment but the majority of them had to be dependent on basic social security provision before landing jobs.

The German official said it would take a lot of time and a money to have the newcomers integrated into the labor market.

Asylum seekers sleep in a tent as they wait to register at the State Office of Health and Social Affairs registration center in Berlin, Germany, December 21, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

The refugee arrivals will be coming at not a perfect time; anti-refugee sentiments are raging in Europe and Germany, in particular, as the country is reeling from acts of terror reportedly by refugees who had arrived in Germany as asylum-seekers.

On July 24, an attacker reported to be a Syrian refugee detonated a bomb near a music festival in the southern town of Ansbach, killing himself and injuring a dozen others.

On the same day, another alleged Syrian refugee attacked several people with a knife in a town near Stuttgart, killing one person and injuring two others.

On July 18, an alleged Afghan refugee injured at least four people with an ax on a train in the city of Bavaria.

The refugees arriving in European countries are mostly from crisis-hit countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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