The number of migrants who entered Europe last year was just the tip of the iceberg as the continent is facing an even bigger refugee influx of up to 10 million this year in the wake of the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Middle East and Africa, a German minister has warned, the Daily Express reported.
"Only 10 percent of refugee wave coming from Syria and Iraq have reached Europe, with even more people expected to arrive from Africa," Muller told the German Bild am Sonntag.
"The biggest refugee inflow is still ahead: African population will double in the next decades with the population of Egypt reaching 100 million and Nigeria's population reaching 400 million,'' the minister said.
Muller said those people seeking to escape "misery'' in their homelands also add up to the refugee and migrant tide in the coming years.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her country's doors to an unlimited number of Syrian refugees last year but has since called for stricter laws regulating asylum seekers following a string of sex attacks by gangs of migrants in Cologne, according to reports.
The minister said the European Union has failed to control the crisis, stressing the border-free Schengen zone has "collapsed."
"The protection of external borders is not working. Schengen has collapsed. A fair distribution of refugees has not taken place.''
Muller said since the refugee inflow is largely irreversible in these times when violence continues in some parts of the world, it is best for Germany and Europe to invest in education, integration and the future of the refugees that have already reached Europe.
"We cannot just build fences around Germany and Europe. When people suffer, they will come. It does not matter what we decide here [in Europe]. These people will not ask us, if they come,'' RT quoted the official as saying.
He also called on Europe to pay €10billion (£7.5million) to finance the rebuilding of settlements in war-torn Syria and Iraq. He added that all states must pay, especially those that receive no refugees.
Meanwhile on Saturday, the German Interior Ministry said that it expects another million refugees to enter Europe from Turkey, RT reported.
There were 1.1 million refugees registered in Germany in 2015. Of the number, 428,500 are from Syria, according to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
De Maiziere said the number of refugees coming fom Morocco and Algeria has significantly increased, as reported by Der Spiegel.