Head of German refugee office quits as migrant crisis grows

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Published: September 17, 2015 9:41:24 PM

The head of Germany's Office for Migration and Refugees, which has been criticised for being slow in processing applications from a record number of asylum seekers, has resigned, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

The head of Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees, which has been criticised for being slow in processing applications from a record number of asylum seekers, has resigned, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

Manfred Schmidt’s resignation, which was for personal reasons, came as the number of refugees entering Germany doubled in 24 hours.

“The interior minister regrets the loss of the head of an authority who performed an excellent job,” a statement said.

“The Office for Migration and Refugees is in focus in the current political situation. The dramatically rising number of asylum seekers in Germany poses enormous challenges to the Office as well as to Germany’s states and municipalities.”

Police said the number of refugees arriving in Germany on Wednesday had more than doubled to 7,266 on Wednesday from 3,442 the previous day.

“Most of them were picked up when crossing the German-Austrian border”, federal police spokeswoman Judith Toelle said.

In the Austrian city of Salzburg, police said between 200 and 300 refugees had arrived overnight by train from Vienna.

Some of them set off on foot towards the German border a few kilometres away. At the border, police said around 200 people were already waiting to be let into Germany.

A police spokesman said they planned to put the refugees on trains so they could be sent to other parts of Germany.

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