Germany to Spend $106-Billion on Refugees Over 5 Years
BERLIN (AP) — A published report says Germany's federal government expects to spend 93.6 billion euros ($106.2 billion) to support refugees over the next five years.
The Hamburg-based magazine Der Spiegel cited a finance ministry document that predicted the annual costs would rise from about 16.1 billion euros this year to 20.4 billion in 2020.
Much of the money would go toward basic benefits, housing support and language lessons for asylum-seekers, but the overall amount also includes spending on efforts to fight the reasons why people flee their home countries and seek refuge in Germany.
Finance ministry spokesman Juerg Weissgerber declined to comment on the figures but confirmed that federal officials were in discussion with representatives from Germany's 16 states about the cost of supporting refugees. They are aiming to reach an agreement on sharing the cost by the time Chancellor Angela Merkel meets state leaders on May 31.
Heavy government spending on refugees has boosted Germany's economy in recent months, but has also stoked resentment among some Germans who believe that migrants are getting preferential treatment. Almost 1.1 million asylum-seekers entered Germany last year, though some have moved on to other countries or returned home.