February 25, 2016 / 10:51 AM / 2 years ago

Senior German official denies media report on 3.6 million refugees by 2020

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees on Thursday denied a media report which said Berlin was expecting a total influx of 3.6 million refugees by 2020.

Wafy Al-Hamoud Alkhaldy, 36, and his wife Asma Al Saleh, 33, and their six children aged from five months old to 11 years old from the eastern Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor present their newly issued "Ankunftsnachweis", an initial German registration document for migrants following their registration at the former British Harewood barracks in Herford, western Germany February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the calculations were based on internal estimates by the Economy Ministry in coordination with other ministries, adding it was “an internal, purely technical estimate on migration”.

Germany took in 1.1 million migrants last year.

“I’m not expecting these numbers,” Frank-Juergen Weise told reporters when asked about the media report on the sidelines of a business event on integrating migrants into the labor market.

Weise, who is also head of the Federal Labour Office, said nobody could reliably say how many migrants would come to Germany in the next few years and it made therefore no sense to publish such forecasts.

He said nobody could give a reliable forecast because how migration figures develop depended on many external factors, including how Washington and Moscow will negotiate on Syria and the reaction of Turkey, where many refugees leave from by boat.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Alison Williams

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