German officials have denied a report by the Bild daily that says the country expects up to 1.5 million asylum seekers this year. Nathan Frandino reports.
The trains keep arriving in Berlin, carrying hundreds of migrants and refugees to what many hope will be their destination. Germany says it expects some 800,000 migrants to reach its borders this year... but a new report published by daily Bild says the number could be far higher. The report cites a confidential government forecast that raises the number to 1.5 million...although government spokesman Georg Streiter denies it. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VICE SPOKESMAN OF GERMAN GOVERNMENT, GEORG STREITER, SAYING: "Nobody knows this (particular) report. well, at least I don't know it, and I don't know anybody in the German government who knows it. So I would not give too much about its reliability." But according to Bild, the report is legitimate and says Germany is struggling with current arrivals and faces an extreme burden with any more. The claims come at a bleak time. With winter approaching and migrants continuing to cross from countries like Serbia, the crisis does not appear to be ending. At the United Nations, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans is not optimistic. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRANS TIMMERMANS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, SAYING: "I have to say very clearly: Europe is not capable of receiving all the refugees in the world. The systems -- social systems, political systems -- in our member states cannot cope with that." And finding the ways to cope with the influx depends heavily on Europe's political will... which so far has been in short supply.