Asylum seeker arrivals in Germany slow
BERLIN - Germany recorded around 16,000 new asylum seekers in May, almost unchanged from April, official data showed Tuesday, after the closure of the key Balkans route slowed a record influx.
Among the 16,281 asylum seekers who arrived in Germany in May, Syrians made up the biggest group at 2,685, followed by Afghans at 2,289 and 1,355 Iraqis.
The figures mark a sharp drop from last autumn's peak arrivals, when around 200,000 people arrived in November alone.
For the full year of 2015, Germany registered a record 1.1 million arrivals.
But the closure of the Balkans route in early March turned the trend, while a EU-Turkey accord also helped dissuade migrants from making the perilous sea crossing to Europe.
Under the controversial deal, Turkey agreed to take back migrants landing on Greek islands in exchange for incentives, including billions of euros in EU aid and visa-free European travel for its citizens.