Germany (population 80 million) may receive 1.5 million asylum seekers this year alone. It has already accepted more asylum applications than any other European nation, with a number of critics pointing to a high number of uneducated and illiterate people coming to the country.
The Federal Employment Agency has stated that 81 percent of asylum seekers are “without formal qualifications,”the Junge Freiheit daily reported, citing a nine-page report entitled “Refugees in Germany: Take responsibility, identify opportunities.”
The agency has reportedly calculated that due to the looming asylum crisis there will be at least 400,000 additional welfare recipients in the coming year.
Earlier this year, about 60 German universities offered refugees a chance to attend courses as guest students for free. In the past, asylum seekers had to pay a fee, unaffordable for most of them.
Having become the main destination for refugees fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa, Germany has seen a new wave of Islamophobic and anti-migrant violence in recent months. The refugee crisis has driven a wedge between those who support asylum seekers and those strongly against them.
There has been a spike in hate crimes against refugees, with much far-right anger and criticism directed at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to suspend the Dublin Regulation, which stipulates that migrants and refugees can only claim asylum at a German port of entry.
The migration crisis has given fresh impetus to the PEGIDA movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident), whose activists took to the streets of Dresden earlier this week, in the wake of the latest plan to establish an additional 100,000 places in refugee reception centers in the EU and the Balkans. The demonstration was met by around 1,500 counter-protesters.
The protest on Monday came just one week after thousands of PEGIDA supporters flooded central Dresden to mark the anniversary of the organization’s founding.