EU to compensate Germany for refugees
The European Union is set to give Germany some €4.5 billion ($5.26 billion) in the next budget period running from 2021 to 2027 as compensation for the financial burden of taking in some 1.7 million refugees since 2013, a German newspaper reported on Friday.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in its exclusive report that the EU would pay out €2,800 for every non-EU citizen who had come to Germany as a refugee and stayed.
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According to figures cited from the statistics office Eurostat, 1.7 million such immigrants have been accepted in Germany since 2014, with half of that number arriving in 2015 when the country opened its borders amid a refugee crisis fueled by various conflicts in the Middle East, notably in Syria.
The money is to come from the structural fund that the EU uses to support economically fragile regions, the report said.
Carrot instead of stick
In February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called for cuts in structural funding to those EU member states that had shown a lack of cooperation in dealing with refugees, the paper said, but this idea had been rejected by other heads of states and governments.
However, a proposal to reward states that had shouldered the burden of giving refuge to asylum seekers was received favorably in Brussels, according to the report.
Germany continues to be at the forefront in taking in refugees, giving 325,400 people protection status in 2017 — a figure that represents 60 percent of the 538,000 people granted such status within the EU in that year, according to Eurostat data.
However, such status does not necessarily lead to permanent residency.
tj/rt (KNA, dpa)
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