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Business

Daimler raises money to keep refugees warm

German automaker Daimler has donated more than 600,000 euros ($667,000) to help the German Red Cross find suitable housing for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have poured into the country before winter sets in.

The company said Friday that employees across Germany had chipped in 300,666 euros during a month-long donation drive and that it would match that sum euro-for-euro, doubling it.

The money would go toward the construction of new dormitories for incoming refugees, of which Germany expects around 800,000 to arrive by the end of the year.

Germany is scramblind to find an alternative to the thin-walled tents that are currently housing some 42,000 refugees across the country, according to estimates by German daily Die Welt.

Municipal governments have been frantically requisitioning halls and sports gyms and filling them with bunks to protect migrants from the cold.

"With this money, we'll be able to help people quickly and directly," Dr. Rudolf Seiters, president of the German Red Cross, was quoted as saying in a press release from Daimler.

The automaker lauded what it called the "exemplary generosity" of its employees and trumpeted a number of its own programs aimed at helping asylum seekers get vocational training and find work.

Next month for instance, Daimler is planning to begin a traineeship program for 40 refugees who will work at its Mercedes Benz plant in Stuttgart, Germany.

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