Germany Saw Sharpest Immigration Rise in Years in 2014

The number of foreigners living in Germany grew at the fastest rate in more than two decades last year, the Statistics office said on Monday, data that is likely to fuel an already heated debate on immigration. Figures showed an increase of 519,340 people, or 6.8 percent, from a year earlier, many of them Syrians fleeing war and Romanians and Bulgarians seeking work -- marking a second year in a row of record immigration in Europe's largest economy. Many of PEGIDA's rallies outside Dresden were dwarfed by gatherings of tens of thousands insisting that Germany welcomes immigrants.