About 3,500 migrants and refugees applied for asylum in Denmark in October, setting a new record high for a single month, the Local news outlet in the country reported Wednesday. The estimated number of applications filed last month shattered the previous record of 3,147 reached in September 2014.
The Danish Immigration Service releases its official immigration statistics quarterly, and it reported last week that 9,793 people applied for asylum in the nation in the first nine months of 2015. The number of applicants this year will likely top the number of applicants last year, when 14,815 people sought asylum.
Denmark has indicated the number of asylum-seekers is getting close to the country’s capacity to deal with them effectively. “If we don’t conduct policies in Europe and Denmark that allow us to get the influx under control, then we will end up with so many people that we cannot handle it,” the Local quoted Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen as saying.
Recent Danish Immigration Service figures suggested the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Denmark more than doubled from 162 in August to 335 in September. Syria was the country of origin of the largest group of unaccompanied children seeking asylum, but the number of such kids coming from Afghanistan to Denmark as a potential refuge also increased significantly.
European Union countries have faced a new wave of refugees this year as they have fled conflict not only in Syria and Afghanistan but also in Iraq, Eritrea and elsewhere. The top recipients of asylum applications in the EU have been Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Britain. Many nations have been feeling the strain of the massive influx.
“German infrastructure is under pressure, not because of the number of refugees that are coming here, but in terms of providing the accommodation they need in our municipalities,” said Michael Roth, the German minister of state for Europe, USA Today reported. “Our local authorities are extremely burdened, and that’s the problem. We need more time.”
Germany has indicated it anticipates at least 1 million refugees will come in 2015 — while other sources warn that this number could reach 1.5 million — and Sweden has suggested it expects as many as 190,000 refugees this year.