No, Germany will not finance ‘harems’ for refugees

A Latvian news site wrongly portrayed talks on family reunification for refugees and asylum seekers in Germany as opening the door for “harems”. EURACTIV.com looks into the allegations as part of the “Fact or Fake” series, in partnership with France 24.

“Harems” for refugees at the expense of the German taxpayer. This is the shocking headline that could be seen in early February on a Latvian news site, Baltnews.lv, which publishes information for Russian language minorities of the Baltic countries.

The news site says in its headline that, in the negotiations on the formation of a new government, German taxpayers will have to pay not only for the integration of refugees but also for their so-called “harems”.

The headline is entirely false, however. A debate is indeed taking place in Germany but it focuses on lifting a ban on family reunification for refugees who do not qualify for asylum seeker status.

Political parties are currently clashing in the Bundestag on a partial lifting of the ban, which would allow up to one thousand additional refugees per month to enter Germany as of next July.

These people are essentially relatives – wives or children – who, if they qualify, would indeed gain access to subsidies granted to refugees. And the debate in the Bundestag focuses precisely on the limits that should be imposed in order to prevent possible abuses.

A debate which appears miles away from the “harems” that were wrongly highlighted on the Latvian news site.

‘Fact or Fake’ is a programme developed in partnership with France 24 as part of the weekly show Talking Europe

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