BERLIN (AP) — The German government says that in a first, more asylum-seekers were transferred to other European Union countries than Germany took in last year.

Interior Ministry spokesman Steve Alter said Germany relocated 9,209 people in 2018 under the EU regulation that requires asylum applications to be handled in the first country a person seeking protection reached in Europe.

Germany took in 7,580 people from other EU countries under the same rule last year.

The sending-receiving was disproportionately reversed in 2016, when Germany assigned 3,968 asylum-seekers elsewhere in the EU but accepted 12,091 from other countries.

More than 1 million migrants have applied for asylum in Germany since 2015, but the country has toughened its asylum laws and tried to deport more people than it did previously.

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