German States Demand More Federal Money for Refugee Crisis
Germany’s 16 state governments anticipate €15.6 billion ($16.2 billion) in additional costs from the refugee crisis in 2017, according to a Handelsblatt survey of regional finance ministries.
In 2016, the refugee crisis cost €19.8 billion, €2 billion more than expected. As the costs rise, the states are calling for more assistance from the federal government.
Though Berlin provided the states with €10 billion in additional funding this year, the regional governments still carried two-thirds of the costs associated with the refugee crisis.
“As finance minister, I can say that satisfaction feels different,” Christian Görke, the finance minister of the eastern state of Brandenburg, told Handelsblatt.
Germany’s two most populous states, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, have called for “stronger participation” from the federal government, particularly when it comes to financing the relocation of refugees’ family members.
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, has allocated €4.2 billion for the refugee crisis in 2017, more than any other state.
Despite the rising costs, 11 of the 16 states have pledged to implement the so-called “debt brake” in 2017, three years before the 2020 deadline. The debt brake requires state governments to have structurally balanced annual budgets.