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Berlin to double refugee money to states

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Berlin to double refugee money to states
Syrian refugees at the border with Turkey. Photo: DPA
08:55 CEST+02:00
The federal government agreed on Thursday to double the funding it gives to state and local governments for refugee uptake to €1 billion annually.

From 2016 onwards the federal government “will involve itself structurally and in a long term way in the overall costs which have developed with the increasing numbers of asylum seekers and refugees” a statement published after the summit between the different layers of government read.

The statement also said that the federal government and the states are committed to joint efforts to distinguish "between those who need protection and those who have no prospect of staying.”

In attendance at the meeting were Chancellor Angela Merkel and the minister-presidents of the 16 federal states and heads of local government.

“We have made considerable progress,” said minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia Hannelore Kraft after the three-hour meeting.

Malu Deyer, minister president of Rhineland-Palatinate meanwhile called the meeting “positive.”

The meeting also discussed ways of speeding up the asylum process and of making it more straightforward for refugees to start training and enter the job market.

It laid the groundwork for a more comprehensive refugee summit planned for next week.
 
Above and beyond the extra €500 billion, the states are calling for the federal government to cover billions of costs they have had to pay out for refugee accommodation.
 
At a rate of €12,500 in costs per asylum seeker and with state governments expecting 450,000 people expected to arrive this year, they're demanding a total of €5.6 billion.
 
State governments also suggested that asylum seekers should be issued with medical insurance cards so as to take the burden of their medical care off city budgets.
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