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German federal govt spent €20 billion on refugees in 2016: report

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German federal govt spent €20 billion on refugees in 2016: report
Photo: DPA
16:44 CEST+02:00
The combined amount spent on the refugee crisis by the federal government totalled over €20 billion in 2016. Over half of the money was spent abroad aiming to stop the flow of migrants making the journey to Europe.

The total spend of €20 billion was about 0.6 percent of its GDP, according to a government report seen by the Rheinische Post.

The money was split between domestic and foreign programmes, with the federal states receiving €9.3 billion, and €11 billion going to operations abroad aimed at fighting forced migration.

“The number of new arrivals coming from Turkey to Greece has drastically sunk in the last year,” said Peter Altmaier, Angela Merkel's chief of staff and coordinator of Germany's response to the migrant crisis, in an interview with the Rheinische Post.

“It also seems as though the rate of the influx of migrants on the Libya-to-Italy route is falling rather than going up,” he continued. “It looks like our commitment to improving the situation in Libya, Mali, and Niger is paying off.”

In 2016, German troops were based in Mali and Turkey, among other places, to fight Islamic extremism, and to break apart the networks of human traffickers.

“The army has achieved a great deal with its foreign operations, including in the refugee crisis,” Altmaier said.

Over a quarter of the total amount of money spent, €5.5 billion, went to refugees who haven't yet been formally recognized.

Roughly €2 billion was spent on an integration plan for new migrants entering the country. Meanwhile €400 million was spent across Germany on shelter for immigrants, while €350 million was spent on unaccompanied minors.

The document published by the government also outlined the amount of money each federal state was allocated. North Rhine-Westphalia received the most - €1.2 billion, followed by Bavaria which was given €860 million, and Baden-Württemberg receiving €728 million.

The total spend in Germany on refugees is much higher, as the federal government only bore 20 percent of the costs, as set out by a deal with the states in 2015.
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