Number of asylum seekers in Germany could swell to 750,000 this year

German cities are struggling to cope as more refugees head for the country than anywhere else in the EU

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The Independent Online

The number of refugees seeking asylum in Germany could jump to 750,000 by the end of the year, according to reports.

The German government has revised its estimates up from a previous estimate of 450,000, according to the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

It comes at a time the issue of migrants is high on the German political agenda.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has tried to address fears about the influx of large numbers of people fleeing Syria, Iraq and other war torn countries, but hostility towards migrants has surged in certain parts of the country.

The number of attacks on refugee shelters has soared during 2015 with 150 arson or other attacks, nearly as many as in the whole of 2014.

Germany is the most popular destination for migrants due to its strong economy and the fact not everyone is so unwelcoming.

A bus driver used an intercom to welcome a group of 15 migrants when they travelled on his bus in city of Erlangen in south Germany on Friday, calling them Germany’s “foreign guests”.

Germany has struggled to absorb the number of migrants heading towards it with not only refugee centres in major cities struggling to cope with the numbers but the central government is facing a long backlog of asylum cases.

On Tuesday, the finance ministry sent 50 custom officials to migration and refugees ministry for six months to help with the backlog.

Additional reporting by Reuters