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The number of new German citizens hits another high last year, with many Syrians naturalized

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The number of new German citizens hits another high last year, with many Syrians naturalized
News

News

The number of new German citizens hits another high last year, with many Syrians naturalized

2024-05-28 19:02 Last Updated At:19:11

BERLIN (AP) — Germany saw another big increase in the number of people gaining citizenship last year as large numbers of people from Syria helped push naturalizations up to their highest level since at least 2000, according to official data released Tuesday.

About 200,100 people were granted German citizenship in 2023, the Federal Statistical Office said. That was an increase of about 31,000, or 19%, compared with the previous year.

The increase followed a 28% rise in 2022, which also was fueled by large numbers of Syrians being naturalized as increasing numbers of people who migrated to Germany between 2014 and 2016 fulfilled the requirements for citizenship.

Last year, 75,500 people from Syria were naturalized — the biggest single group, accounting for 38% of the total — the statistics office said. That number was up 56% compared with 2022. They had spent an average 6.8 years in Germany before becoming citizens.

About 10,700 citizens each of Turkey and Iraq became German citizens last year, putting those groups in second place.

The overall number of new citizens was the highest since current records started in 2000 following a change in the law under which people of German ancestry from the former Soviet Union, who arrived in large numbers in the 1990s, were automatically granted citizenship rather than having to apply for it.

Requirements for being granted citizenship include a working knowledge of German and proof of being able to support oneself financially.

Under the law as it was last year, people were in principle required to have lived in Germany for at least eight years, though that didn't apply to spouses and children. The period could be reduced to six years for people who show “special integration accomplishments” such as very good knowledge of the language, professional achievements or civic engagement.

Those rules are being eased under new legislation that will take effect on June 27. People will be eligible for citizenship after five years in Germany, or three in case of “special integration accomplishments." German-born children will automatically become citizens if one parent has been a legal resident for five years, down from eight years now.

Restrictions on holding dual citizenship will also be dropped. In principle, most people from countries other than European Union members and Switzerland have had to give up their previous nationality when they gained German citizenship, though there were some exemptions.

Germany has about 84 million inhabitants.

FILE - A person holds German and French, left, passports during a demonstration march to protest government plans to reform the education system, in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Official data shows another big increase in the number of people gaining German citizenship last year. According to the figures released Tuesday, May 28, 2024, large numbers of people from Syria helped push naturalizations up to their highest level since at least 2000. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

FILE - A person holds German and French, left, passports during a demonstration march to protest government plans to reform the education system, in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Official data shows another big increase in the number of people gaining German citizenship last year. According to the figures released Tuesday, May 28, 2024, large numbers of people from Syria helped push naturalizations up to their highest level since at least 2000. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Australian second baseman Travis Bazzana was taken by the Cleveland Guardians with the No. 1 pick in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft on Sunday night, and three players from Wake Forest were selected in the top 10.

A former cricket, rugby and soccer player who came to the United States to play baseball for Oregon State, the 21-year-old hit .407 with 28 homers and 66 RBIs this season. He became the first Australian and first second baseman taken No. 1.

“An opportunity to make an impact on a lot of baseball players and a lot of people back home in Australia, and hopefully change the narrative for baseball there,” Bazzana said.

Bazzana hit .360 over three seasons at Oregon State with 45 homers, 165 RBIs, 180 walks and 66 steals.

Cleveland president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said the team made its decision Sunday.

“He recognizes pitches exceedingly well,” Antonetti said. “He knows the strike zone, makes good swing decisions, when he does choose to swing makes elite-level contact. And I think what’s really grown in Travis’ game over the past year or so is the ability to add impact and drive the ball.”

Bazzana watched the draft from Oregon State in the rooms where he had been recruited, joined by his parents, brothers and aunts along with coaches and mentors.

“There's people that have flown all the way from Australia, which is not cheap, nor is it an easy flight,” he said.

He was inspired by Ryan Rowland-Smith and Trent Oeltjen, Australians who had reached MLB.

“They really helped me believe and see this path and get an opportunity at Oregon State, and kind of helped me set no limits on myself,” he said.

Once in college, there wasn’t any pressure to produce.

“No one really expected anything from the Australian kid,” he said.

Baseball's No. 1 selection this year has a slot value of $10,570,600 under the bonus pools system that began in 2012. Cleveland had the top pick for the first time since the draft began in 1965.

Just 10 high school players were among the 30 first-round picks.

Wake Forest right-hander Chase Burns went second to Cincinnati, while Demon Deacons first baseman Nick Kurtz was the fourth pick for Oakland and third baseman/outfielder Seaver King 10th for Washington.

Burns, 21, was 10-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 191 strikeouts and 30 walks over 100 innings in 16 starts. The Reds took Demon Deacons right-hander Rhett Lowder with the seventh overall selection last year.

Kurtz hit .306 with 22 homers, 57 RBIs and 78 walks, and King batted .308 with 16 homers and 64 RBIs.

Colorado used the third pick on Georgia third baseman Charlie Condon, who started college as a walk-on. Projected first by some, the 6-foot-6 Condon led the NCAA this year with a .433 average and 37 homers. The 21-year-old homered in eight straight games from April 26 to May 9, one shy of the NCAA record, and won the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur baseball player.

Arkansas left-hander Hagen Smith, who had Tommy John surgery as a 16-year-old in 2019, was picked fifth by the Chicago White Sox. He went 9-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 161 in 84 innings.

Kansas City went next and took Jac Caglianone, a two-way player from Florida. A first baseman and left-handed pitcher, he hit .419 with 35 homers and 72 RBIs for the Gators this year while going 5-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 83 and walking 50 in 73 2/3 innings.

West Virginia infielder JJ Wetherholt went seventh to St. Louis. The 21-year-old hit .331 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 36 games, missing 24 games between Feb. 19 and April 5 because of a hamstring injury. He won the Division I batting title as a sophomore in 2023, hitting .449 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs and 36 stolen bases.

Wetherholt attended the draft wearing a black cowboy hat and bolo tie. He quickly put on a Cardinals jersey and cap. Tennessee second baseman Christian Moore, also on site, was taken eighth by the Los Angeles Angels.

Konnor Griffin was the first high school player picked, taken ninth by Pittsburgh. The 18-year-old is a shortstop and outfielder from Jackson Prep in Mississippi.

Florida State outfielder James Tibbs III was taken 13th by San Francisco and Seminoles teammate Cam Smith, a third baseman, went next to the Chicago Cubs.

Mississippi State switch pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje was selected 15th by Seattle. Cijntje was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Curaçao and played in the 2016 Little League World Series. He was drafted in the 18th round by Milwaukee two years ago but went to college.

Cam Caminiti, a cousin of 1986 NL MVP Ken Caminiti, was picked 24th by Atlanta. The 17-year-old left-hander is from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Teams were to make the first 74 picks Sunday at the Cowtown Coliseum, with the remainder of the 20 rounds on Monday and Tuesday. Cleveland also picked 36th and 48th.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was booed by the roughly 2,000 fans on hand when he emerged on stage through the set's saloon doors and each time he returned to announce a selection. Spectators booed especially loudly for the selections of the Houston Astros and New York Yankees.

AP Sports Writers Schuyler Dixon and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, poses for a photo with Cam Caminiti after Caminiti was selected 24th overall by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, poses for a photo with Cam Caminiti after Caminiti was selected 24th overall by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, and Kaelen Culpepper, right, pose for a photo after Culpepper was selected 21st overall by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, and Kaelen Culpepper, right, pose for a photo after Culpepper was selected 21st overall by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, and Jurrangelo Cijntje, pose after Cijntje was selected 15th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, and Jurrangelo Cijntje, pose after Cijntje was selected 15th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred,, left, poses with Braden Montgomery who was selected 12th overall by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred,, left, poses with Braden Montgomery who was selected 12th overall by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, poses for a photo with Christian Moore, right, who was selected eighth overall by the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, poses for a photo with Christian Moore, right, who was selected eighth overall by the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, and JJ Wetherholt, right, pose for a photo after Wetherholt was selected seventh overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, left, and JJ Wetherholt, right, pose for a photo after Wetherholt was selected seventh overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announces the first-round overall selection made by the Cleveland Guardians during the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. The Guardians selected Travis Bazzana. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announces the first-round overall selection made by the Cleveland Guardians during the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. The Guardians selected Travis Bazzana. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

FILE - Tennessee pitcher Chase Burns pitches against Southern Mississippi in the eighth inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game, June 12, 2023, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Wake Forest right-hander Burns went to Cincinnati with the second pick on Sunday, July 14, 2024, during Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis., File)

FILE - Tennessee pitcher Chase Burns pitches against Southern Mississippi in the eighth inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game, June 12, 2023, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Wake Forest right-hander Burns went to Cincinnati with the second pick on Sunday, July 14, 2024, during Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis., File)

An image of Travis Bazzana is shown on the video board after the Cleveland Guardians selected Bazzana, the first overall pick in the MLB baseball draft, in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

An image of Travis Bazzana is shown on the video board after the Cleveland Guardians selected Bazzana, the first overall pick in the MLB baseball draft, in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

FILE - Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana plays during an NCAA regional baseball game against Tulane on May 31, 2024, in Corvallis, Ore. Bazzana was taken by the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, July 14, 2024, with the top pick in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman, File)

FILE - Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana plays during an NCAA regional baseball game against Tulane on May 31, 2024, in Corvallis, Ore. Bazzana was taken by the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, July 14, 2024, with the top pick in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman, File)

Fans look on during the MLB baseball draft at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Fans look on during the MLB baseball draft at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Attendees look on during the MLB baseball draft at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Attendees look on during the MLB baseball draft at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, at podium, introduces former player Adrián Beltré, left, during the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, at podium, introduces former player Adrián Beltré, left, during the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Attendees look on during the MLB baseball draft at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Attendees look on during the MLB baseball draft at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred makes comments during the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred makes comments during the MLB baseball draft in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

FILE - Georgia's Charlie Condon hits the ball during an NCAA regional baseball game against Army on May 31, 2024 in Athens, Ga. The Cleveland Guardians have the No. 1 overall pick in next week's draft. They have narrowed the talent pool to just a few possibilities with Oregon State second baseman Travis Bazzana, Georgia outfielder/third baseman Condon and West Virginia middle infielder Wetherholt believed to be the frontrunning options. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

FILE - Georgia's Charlie Condon hits the ball during an NCAA regional baseball game against Army on May 31, 2024 in Athens, Ga. The Cleveland Guardians have the No. 1 overall pick in next week's draft. They have narrowed the talent pool to just a few possibilities with Oregon State second baseman Travis Bazzana, Georgia outfielder/third baseman Condon and West Virginia middle infielder Wetherholt believed to be the frontrunning options. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

Australian second baseman Travis Bazzana taken by Cleveland Guardians with top MLB draft pick

Australian second baseman Travis Bazzana taken by Cleveland Guardians with top MLB draft pick

Australian second baseman Travis Bazzana taken by Cleveland Guardians with top MLB draft pick

Australian second baseman Travis Bazzana taken by Cleveland Guardians with top MLB draft pick

FILE - Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana bats during an NCAA baseball game against Arizona State on April 6, 2024, in Corvallis, Ore. The Cleveland Guardians have the No. 1 overall pick in next week's draft. They have narrowed the talent pool to just a few possibilities with Oregon State second baseman Bazzana, Georgia outfielder/third baseman Charlie Condon and West Virginia middle infielder Wetherholt believed to be the frontrunning options. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman, File)

FILE - Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana bats during an NCAA baseball game against Arizona State on April 6, 2024, in Corvallis, Ore. The Cleveland Guardians have the No. 1 overall pick in next week's draft. They have narrowed the talent pool to just a few possibilities with Oregon State second baseman Bazzana, Georgia outfielder/third baseman Charlie Condon and West Virginia middle infielder Wetherholt believed to be the frontrunning options. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman, File)

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