Germany’s regions, the Bundesländer, have requested €12 billion to pay for costs incurred in integrating refugees. However, Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble remains unconvinced. EurActiv Germany reports.
“We are confronted with an international crisis, the brunt of which is being borne by small communities and towns. The federal government cannot just stand by and watch,” said Bremen’s Mayor, Carsten Sieling, in an interview published in German media today (21 April).
His call to better share the large costs involved is expected to form an important part of the agenda of Friday’s meeting between Angela Merkel and the region chiefs.
Sieling referred to estimates provided by Bavaria and North Rhine-Westfalia which forecasted that integration costs could top €25 billion this year.
Schäuble (CDU) will today meet with four minister presidents from the CSU, SPD and his own party about alternative ways of paying for the escalating costs. He remains sceptical about any proposals that would see the state committed to paying more money instead of the Länder.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the notoriously hard-nosed minister suggested yesterday (20 April) evening that the regions’ attempt to gang up and strong-arm Berlin into “just nodding and paying” would be given short-shrift.