• Germany's news in English

Asylum 'could cost Germany €10bn' in 2015

The Local · 20 Aug 2015, 08:33

Published: 20 Aug 2015 08:33 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Journalists at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung arrived at the figure simply by multiplying the flat rate local governments are paid by their states per refugee of between €12,000 and €13,000 by 800,000.

State governments had until now been planning to spend a total of between €5 and €6 billion on supporting the 450,000 anticipated asylum seekers this year.

But Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière's announcement on Wednesday that the figure could increase by more than two-thirds has prompted fresh calls for the federal government to stump up more cash.

While de Maizière acknowledged that the refugee numbers represented "a real challenge" for the country, he insisted on Wednesday that "Germany is not overwhelmed."

While the €10bn figure is large, it remains a drop in the ocean - 0.34 percent - of Germany's GDP of €2.915 trillion in 2014.

And it's less than one-fifth of the cash risked by Germany in emergency lending to Greece over that country's three bailout programmes.

'Federal government should do more'

Last year, the total amount spent by the federal states on supporting refugees was €2.2 billion.

“The federal government must quickly say how it will take on a share of the costs of caring for refugees in a long-term, structural way,” North Rhine-Westphalia minister-president Hannelore Kraft said on Wednesday.

Ministers in Berlin have so far promised €1 billion extra to be divided among the states – far short of the total needed.

States want tax increases

Some state governments are already calling for tax increases to pay the differences.

Story continues below…

The state must “improve things on the income side,” Schleswig-Holstein finance minister Monika Heinold said, adding that wealthier people should bear the lion's share of the burden through an increase in inheritance tax and the financial transactions tax.

Heinold added that the solidarity charge, which has been added to everyone's taxes since reunification to fund reconstruction in the former East Germany, should be diverted towards the asylum system.

The northerly state has already tripled its asylum budget for 2015 to €300 million.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd